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

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Feeling Overwhelmed, Trying to Let Go

August is not my month. This is actually the FIRST August that I have not received bad news in a while, which is encouraging. Of course I wasn't in a cycle this August, so that helps. Trying to squeeze my FET in in August probably wouldn't have been the best idea given my track record (freak ectopic with crazy tube-removing surgery, first awesome positive pregnancy test that August stole with bleeding and plummeting numbers....). I did have that hysteroscopy this August, which turned up some seriously freaky looking hemorrhagic polyps (I have pictures that I decline to post but did text to a "lucky" select few, because one looked like a little alien guy waving or catching a football), but no smoking gun. The polyps were near my cervix, and not near implantation sites, but still would have been problematic come babytime if only for the weird bleeding, so I'm glad they're gone. I am officially rejuvenated in the endometrial area. Sticky and ready for that baby to come in for a landing.

August was also filled with school stuff. I had trainings anywhere from 2-5 days a week and went into my classroom(s) a lot. Especially this week. I figure all this work now will make my September way easier. And take pressure off me since I will start the school year all drugged up and will need to take time off relatively early in the first quarter, which I do not relish. But, such is life. My life. It's less than ideal, but then again I have meticulously planned the timing of all my cycles to be during breaks, or summer, or a time when taking off is not terrible (and I kind of lucked out with the fresh DE IVF which was unplannable, although it didn't work out in the long run). In the name of reducing stress. Well, that hasn't been a winning strategy, so I figure doing all this at the crazy beginning of the year is a nice change--maybe my embryos need to work for it. Maybe they will rise to the occasion. Or it. Not they, as we are doing the single transfer thing. (So not used to the pronouns associated with single embryo transfer!)

Anyway, I've been super busy and full of the Lupron, which has NOT been kind to me. I haven't really noticed the hot flashes so much (probably because I've been in a muggy un-airconditioned classroom that just feels like one long hot flash) but an old enemy has resurfaced that I did NOT miss. Only during the first IVF cycle that we did, when our upstairs was being renovated and we slept on the futon downstairs, have I experienced insomnia with Lupron. Well, welcome back, jerkface. I wake up at 3-something every single night and it takes me at least an hour or so to start to fall back asleep, but then it's just superficial sleep until the alarm goes off. I even took Advil PM last night because I had a migraine and was desperate for good sleep (and I'm in the beginning of Lupron, no lining involved, so it's OK), and I STILL woke up at 3:45. The only difference was I could get back to sleep. That's something, I guess.

Also, I am a complete and total lunatic on this drug. Bryce deserves a freaking medal for dealing with the mercurial freakshow that is me on Lupron this time. Two examples:

      1) Yesterday I had to buy wet food for our cats, because one of them is likely dehydrated (ironically the one who produced such an epic amount of urine last week in our bed, again, at 3:30 a.m.). I had a hell of a time finding a cat food that did not contain meat by-products. Apparently just about every brand of canned cat food contains this creepy food-substance in it. I did not want it. I found a brand that didn't, but it was full of "wheat gluten" which didn't make me happy either, but at least it wasn't beaks or hooves or entrails or whatever the nefarious label "by-products" means. All I could think of was pink slime. So, in relating this frustrating experience to Bryce, he was like, "it's CAT food--if they eat it and think it's yummy, who cares if it has meat by-products in it?" I immediately burst into tears, sobbing, "Our CATS are our CHILDREN--they're the ONLY THING WE HAVE to care for right now!!!" Then did the sob/laugh thing for a little while because I realized how completely ridiculous that sounded. At least I realized it, that proves I'm not totally insane.

       2) Later that same night, I ranted and raved at Bryce for "getting too close to me" in the night. He is a snuggler, which I absolutely love, but lately I feel like I have 6 inches of bed to sleep on because he inches closer and closer and I AM A FURNACE at night and need some space while I sleep. I am lucky that my husband wants to be near me, even unconsciously. However, I was all crazed and mad about it last night, to the point where my harping left Bryce saying, "Fine, I think I'll just sleep downstairs. That will solve this problem." Suddenly I was wailing, clutching onto Bryce like velcro, shrieking "NOOOOOO! You CAN'T sleep downstairs! Please, please, PLEASE don't gooooooooo!" It was clearly a case of "GET AWAY FROM ME! Wait, wait, DON'T GO!" I don't know who hates Lupron more, me or the poor man who has to deal with the demon who temporarily replaces his wife.

So, Lupron has me in its crazypants grip, I am all stressed getting ready for school, and I am quite frankly terrified for this next cycle. School I can get a handle on, and I just need to let go of some things for the sake of sanity. I think you can always go into school for more, there will always be more that you can do, but at some point you have to draw a line. I am trying to draw that line today--I went in for the LAST DAY until Tuesday, which is our opening day for teachers. I am NOT GOING IN AGAIN, as much as the siren call of my classroom will try to lure me in. I seriously don't know what's wrong with me, that the last few days of summer are here and I feel compelled to do more to my classroom/plans/ organizational systems. I am just giddy with the happiness of being all in one building where I have a prayer of filing things in a timely fashion and staying ahead of the game. But NO, I am going to ENJOY THE LAST OF SUMMER even though that doesn't mean a last minute trip to Cape Cod or the Jersey Shore or Maine or even an overnight in Ithaca. Or a place non-western-New-Yorkers are going to think is so wacky -- Skaneatles (pronounced Skinny-atlas, it's a cute town on one of the Finger Lakes.) I am going to try to hide my laptop. I had planned on leaving everything at school so I COULDN'T work on anything, but there's a couple things I can do from home when no one is watching. But I am going to ignore it for the most part and only do it when Bryce is working on a computer project. Heh.

Then there's the sense of terror I have. I really am optimistic about this upcoming cycle. I am optimistic because of the stickiness-enhancing hysteroscopy that cleared out a bunch of aliens from my otherwise welcoming womb. I am optimistic because of the changes in my protocol. And I am optimistic because I am putting just one embryo in. All of these things are exciting changes that hopefully stack the deck in our favor. But I am also afraid, very very afraid. Because when the fresh cycle failed, I had all of this to research and I turned into a madwoman with a cause, trying to figure out what could be done to make the cycle optimal next time. So, I am very hopeful that this one will work and I will be among the DE IVF success stories, that it just took me a little longer to get with the program. However, that evil little voice in the back of my head reminds me that even with all these changes, FET success rates are lower than fresh cycles. I couldn't hit the 65%, what makes me think that I'm going to hit 40% or 35% or whatever statistic is floating around now? I mean, I have good luck with FETs, my one and only uterine pregnancy was from a FET. Freezie-pop babies like me better. My theory on this is that you are not sticking as much crap up your hoo-ha with a FET. I have a personal (and possibly crazy) theory that the patches weren't great for me, and putting all those blue pills and progesterone suppositories up my lady business irritated things and made me less receptive. This time I don't even have to do the dreaded progesterone suppositories, because my dose of PIO is doubled. And the injectable estrogen works better for me than the patches, so I probably won't need to shove tiny blue pills where the sun don't shine, either. So yet another reason to be hopeful.

My fear, that tiny evil voice again, is that if this DOESN'T seal the deal, I have nothing left to research. We will hopefully have robust blasts that will survive the thaw just fine, and so have one more blast to transfer via FET, and if needed, we have those weird little one-day embryos. Which will be an indeterminate number of day 3 embryos, no more blasts. So we have more opportunities, I JUST REALLY DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO TAKE THEM. I will be into the school year when all this goes down, and while I will probably be a wreck if I'm pregnant (happy, but scared to death until we're sure it's staying), I am going to be pretty damn inconsolable if I am left with nothing after pumping my body full of even more drugs and trying something new. I'm not sure how to deal with that.

The good news, is, I don't have to. Nothing is happening yet. I have to go back to my mantra of LET GO. Live for today. Do not freak out about hypotheticals that haven't happened yet and may never happen. Be happy. Well, be as happy as you can be while your body is a hormonal wasteland. Celebrate all the small successes and hope they add up to the ultimate big one. Today I am crazy because Lupron is doing its job, and without Lupron doing its job, I have not a prayer of getting pregnant. So thank you, Lupron, for morphing me into a psychopath so that I may become a wonderful mommy. See? That kind of mental magic is what I'm talking about. Entertain the fear but then let it go, because there is nothing to be afraid of yet. One freaking frustrating heartbreaking step at a time. Don't think about your "About Me" poster that is sadly baby-free, celebrate that it has fun pictures of you and your husband and that you are lucky to have that love in your life. You will just be even luckier when the babies come.

Oh, and here is the picture that I chose for that dreaded back-to-school slideshow--it was a lovely evening on Lake Ontario with my parents--the sunset was gorgeous and it was a fun time. Positive, positive, positive.

Hey FutureBaby, how could you resist coming to join this couple?


  1. I totally understand and sympathize with your anticipation and anxiety before this cycle. But the changes you have made will hopefully bring good results.

    Lupron was hard for me too, though it varied cycle by cycle. One time I had a meltdown in a Whole Foods over which flower arrangement to buy. I excused myself and finished my crying fit in the car. I think it's very overwhelming to deal with the medication on top of the already taxing stresses of waiting to begin a cycle. Try to remember it's the drugs and not you- well, it's your feelings, but amplified and exaggerated by the hormones.

    I'm glad you're getting close and will follow you with what happens. Good luck with the start of school too.

    1. Thanks! I agree, every cycle is different with Lupron. I am so sad that I am now cycling through all the side effects a second time though... I give you props for finishing the crying fit in the car! I might have just slid to the floor and kept it going in the store. Thanks for helping me feel less crazy and I appreciate the back-to-school wishes!

  2. So I'm goofing off in my office rather than doing real work and decided to check in on your blog. You should know that I had to get up and close my door because I was literally laughing out loud at your descriptions of lupron side effects. "Welcome back jerkface." Priceless. :) I'm pretty sure I played out the exact same snuggle scenario with my husband during our cycle. Thinking happy sticky thoughts for you!

    1. Ha! Glad to provide some mid-afternoon entertainment. There has to be something positive to gain from all this crapola! I start estrogen tomorrow, so I'm hoping that will start reducing all this crap. I feel half blind in one eye thanks to a raging Lupron-induced migraine. All I can think when going through this part of the lupron and my estrogen is way down is that menopause is not going to be fun. :) Thanks for the sticky thoughts!

  3. "So thank you, Lupron, for morphing me into a psychopath so that I may become a wonderful mommy"---
    You're hysterical. I love this. You'll get through it with flying colors, mama!

    1. Thanks, lady! I am currently struggling with being on Lupron and Estrogen in the first week of school... I am EXHAUSTED and have NO LIFE but it will all be worth it! and congrats on your AA embryo!!!

  4. Lovely pic of the two of you at the end of this blog. So sorry that lupron hasn't been treating you very well. I always admire your ability to find the positives in even the crappiest circumstances.

    1. Thanks, lady! It almost looked like we were at the ocean. The lupron seems to have waned and thankfully the last shot is tomorrow. Now I grapple with PIO and estrogen... :) AND school! Holy guacamole it is exhausting in September to begin with, but add in all these drugs and I am USELESS when I get home. This too shall pass, right? I hope all is well with you! Thanks for commenting!