It's hard to say things are looking up, that things are going well, so I've decide to say that things are tilted up. We are in a more positive place than we were Thursday, and my mental state is a bit better today than it was yesterday.
I received my call around noon today, and my estrogen has more than tripled from its pathetic dropped value of 71 to a whopping 234, in just two days. This is good. It's encouraging. I was completely steeling myself for the Cancellation Call, and instead I got what I had prepared for justincase, yesterday--come in Monday for ultrasound and bloodwork. The thought is that since the estrogen is good now, the lining should be better and the fluid should be moving on out. Unfortunately, he keeps asking if I'm bleeding or anything, and I am not. I think he'd prefer it if I was bleeding because maybe that'd be the fluid disappearing. It could reabsorb, right?
So now I feel a bit of a reprieve, because at least my bloodwork is doing well. I also kind of feel that same sense of foreboding, because fluid on Monday could end it. Keep on sending those virtual love notes to my uterus--I have appreciated each and every one and they seem to be working some hoodoo magic.
After my day on Thursday, where I pampered myself and tried to make myself feel better after receiving questionable news, and pretty much failed to produce lasting results, I feared Friday may not be such a great day. Mostly because I was feeling pretty distraught over the possibility of cancellation, and that my only previous experience with fluid led to that outcome, after two ultrasounds. I also have been nursing a cold/virus/bug thing all week. I felt so crappy that Bryce opted me out of a birthday celebration I was supposed to go to Friday night. I really wanted to go, but I knew it was best if I didn't. 1) I was a DISASTER on Friday during the day, 2) My higher meds dose was part of the culprit and also had me very sleepy and crappy feeling, and 3) If I was at the verge of tears on Thursday, and then continued that way on Friday (which was definitely the case), who wants that at a celebration? I didn't want to ruin it. Oh, and 4), Bryce was like, "You have to take care of yourself. And if that means staying in and vegging out and having a quiet night, then you need that." He is so wise, and I love him so for how he knows just what helps in these situations. So I didn't go.
Friday morning was fine, I had to tell people that it didn't go so well, since it was obvious I'd gone to Buffalo and I work with so many different teachers and support staff that it's impossible to keep it under wraps. The first few times were fine, but then it got tearier and tearier. By midday, the tears were BARELY under the surface, welling up, threatening to spill over. I made it all the way through 5th period, so more than half the day. Unfortunately, adding to my issue was a disciplinary situation that came up in my absence that had me feeling majorly betrayed in the trust department by one of my students. And all the calls surrounding that situation, plus having to call about the little blue pills which we apparently could not refill but need more of after today, and being reminded again that "bloodwork only" on day 9 of stimming IS NOT A GOOD THING for your cycle, I was a disaster by 7th period. I teach a resource room that is at capacity and filled with some very strong personalities and challenging situations, both behavioral and learning related. I needed my shit together for this class.
And, for the first time in, oh, I don't know, EVER, I completely lost it in front of my students. The tears were in my eyes as I furiously blinked them away and tried to get us started, and I went to open my mouth, and it all came pouring out as I managed to say, "Excuse me" and point at my teacher's assistant who luckily is excellent and immediately took over the class while I left to sob in the bathroom. Unfortunately the closest bathroom is a student bathroom, and so not so private.
Why was I so very sad?
Because, as I knew Thursday and realized over and over again every time I had to tell someone else that things didn't look so great for this cycle, if this cycle is cancelled, I don't think I can do another one. I CAN'T KEEP DOING THIS. I want to finish it out, I want to come to resolution by using up all my embryos, but now I am faced with a new problem... WHAT IF I CAN'T? Like, physically? What if, as Bryce has so eloquently put it, we have been trying to run the marathon all these years, and once or twice we ran a 5K, but we've ALWAYS made it to the starting line. Now we can't even do that? Now it's in question whether or not we can even make it to transfer? What's with the fluid? What's with my body totally not responding to any new protocol or medications I'VE TAKEN BEFORE JUST FINE, now, when all we want to do is finish? It is frustrating. It makes me insanely sad, because I didn't want to end with the 2PNs so we didn't end on a stutter, an unfinished sentence if they didn't produce anything to transfer. And now I, I am the stutter... it's my end of things that is causing hurdles to transfer. I don't think I have another protocol in me, another cycle, another go-round of driving to Buffalo and waiting for calls and jabbing myself with needles and feeling like shit and then being heartbroken prematurely. I cry every time I inject myself lately, and not just because the Lovenox has been particularly awful this time around (despite using a friend's trick to wipe off the needle with an alcohol wipe to remove any medication residue that could sting). I cry because I'M TIRED. I cry because all I can think is MY POOR BODY. And I cry because emotionally, I JUST CAN'T DO THIS AND FUNCTION LIKE A NORMAL PERSON ANYMORE. It's not just the cancelling on social events. That I have done over and over again, and while I fear that after a while it is isolating and I am isolating myself, I have had to do what I needed to to take care of myself. But, this is the first year where I have been an utter disaster AT MY JOB. Where school has always been a safe haven in a way, where I could hone my actress chops and be Perfectly Normal Human-Like-Substance Teacher, who puts her everything into the day (evenings too, thankyouverymuch governor of NY who thinks we all suck) and can shove all this shit under the rug for those hours at school...no more. I had my first breakdown in school in September, after my FET negative with the DS embryos. But that didn't involve students. Yesterday, yesterday I could not teach my class and was eternally grateful that I have wonderful people who I work with who pick up the pieces I leave behind and so I don't feel like I've left my class in a lurch entirely. I CRIED IN FRONT OF MY STUDENTS. I can only imagine what they may have said to parents when they got home. OH GOD, they're all going to think I'm having some kind of mental breakdown.
And I guess I am, in a way. I cried for the rest of the day and into the evening. I feel such a sense of loss, realizing that this may be my last shot at ever being pregnant and it's so touch and go. Thank goodness today it's more go than touch, but Monday could switch it all around again. It's all down to my lining and that dastardly fluid.
But, I did discover amazing support in someone I didn't really know before yesterday. I was trying to pull myself together in the bathroom and splash my face and failing miserably, sobbing into the rough bark-like paper towel substances they dispense in institutional bathrooms, when an English teacher came in that's new this year. A third-trimester pregnant English teacher. I have had limited interactions with her because a) I don't share any kids with her team, save a couple of guided study hall students, b) she's split between our building and another one, and c) she's a posterchild for beautiful, hugely pregnant women and so I don't typically seek her out. Well, apparently my loss. She immediately swooped in and ushered me into her classroom, which had both privacy and tissues, and let me just sit there and bawl.
And then... it just all started pouring out. It started with me just blurting out "I've been trying to get pregnant for over five years" in between sobs, and then she gasped and tried to cover her stomach with her hands, and I said, "No no no no, you're fine, you know, life goes on, just not for me." A bit dramatic but definitely my truth, so whatever. And she just listened, as I poured out my whole long sad sap story, from the very beginning, with the whole freakshow heartbreaking ectopic experience and then the heartbreaking miscarriage that followed the next summer, and the slew of negative pregnancy tests and now I couldn't even get to TRANSFER. And then I had to explain a lot, because apparently words like "2PNs" and "transfer" and "follicles" and "cancellation" don't mean the same thing to people who haven't lived this particular life. She shared that she had had four losses in one year and that it nearly destroyed her, so of course I would be upset, of course. And I felt terrible, because I had seen her as a nice person who was pregnant with her third child and had kind of dismissed her as anyone that I would seek out specifically to befriend. But I should have thought of that when she told me in passing the other day that her two children are 5 and 6, that maybe that gap wasn't entirely on purpose. I HAD JUDGED HER FOR HER BELLY. It wasn't overt, I wasn't hating on her, but I had just decided not to go out of my way to reach out, despite being two doors down. And this woman, this incredibly compassionate and hilarious woman, she said ALL THE RIGHT THINGS. She did say I was super strong, the strongest woman she knew, and usually I kind of resent that a bit, because I didn't ask for this particular hand and I don't necessarily think I'm all that strong, but it wasn't pandering and it wasn't patronizing (which is how that can come across sometimes). She let me verbal vomit my grief all over her gorgeous baby belly. And somehow we talked about pee sticks, and I said I had a stash in my closet and I only pee on them when I know I'm pregnant, which has been YEARS but now I've decided to pee on them before the call, because Fuck You, Call, you don't get to tell me what I don't already know. And then I started sobbing all over again, because I sputtered, "and now I'm probably NEVER GOING TO USE A PEE STICK AGAIN..." and kind of wailed out the last syllables like a four year old child. Her response? "When this baby is out, we will have some crushed fermented grapes, and we will BURN THOSE STICKS! No! No! Better, we will SHIT on those sticks!" Holy jeezum. I was a little taken aback at first, and then I started laughing hysterically, and I said, "Oh, I LIKE you!" Because someone who can tell a virtual stranger that shitting on pee sticks is a more fitting revenge than burning them is my kind of lady. (Although the actual logistics of such an endeavor make me a bit queasy, so this is probably a theoretical stick-shitting.)
Consider the lesson learned... don't judge a person by their seemingly beatific pregnancy. She was a bright spot in an otherwise horrific day.
I spent the rest of the day prepping my sub plans for Monday, justincase, and THANK GOODNESS because I need them. Which is hopeful.
To end on a funny note and not a my-god-this-woman-is-totally-losing-her-marbles note, we had to refill our hilarious little blue pills today, paid out of pocket due to insurance issues. Who knew they were $39/pill? So, we went to the pharmacy together (I couldn't keep a straight face last time and fled to the yogurt area), and requested the refill. Because my last pill is tonight that I have on hand, I had to blurt out, "We really need them by tomorrow" when they asked when we wanted to pick them up. Which, in retrospect, probably looked really funny. Like, "She can't wait? It's got to be by tomorrow? Jeez!" The guy handling our refill was taking it all in stride. We could pick them up in 20 minutes. I detected a bit of a smirk, real or imagined (pretty sure it was real). When we came back to pay, we got the same guy, who immediately got the prescription before Bryce could say what it was. Oh, this was after we weren't paying attention and he called us over and Bryce yelled, "Oh, we're UP!" and then dissolved into hysterical man-giggles over his terrible pun as we approached the cashier's desk. Yeah, we're super inconspicuous. As we got rung up, the pharmacy guy said, "You have a good night now, guys." Which was definitely smirky because it was THREE IN THE AFTERNOON. Oh, har de har har har. (Little does he know where those little blue pills are going... it's not nearly as fun a night as he's imagining...)
So, the wait is on. Wait, wait, wait. Monday will bring either really good news (lining up to snuff! fluid gone!) or really heartbreaking news (cycle cancelled! you are THROUGH, my friends!). I can only hope for a positive ultrasound, for more forward movement, for a way to get to resolution without feeling like my chair has been ripped out from under me.