Friday, February 25, 2011

What goes up…

*Note - In order for me to move forward. To move past the pain of loss and continue on my journey to motherhood, I need to revisit the past to find my future. This is the past...

Are you ready to play TTTThhhhe Beta Game?

(Beta is a blood test to check the levels of HCG (the Pregnancy Hormone) in the blood. These levels must rise accordingly and hit certain levels…Honestly I didn’t know any of this shit either until I started TTC)

Here are the rules:
  1. Need to have a beta higher than 5 to be considered pregnant. Most REs want a starting beta of 50. Most HPTs will pick up a beta of 25 and higher. Digital HPTs are 50 and higher.
  2. Your beta should double every 48 hours.
  3. Most REs will do 2 betas to see if it is rising and then have you come back for an ultrasound 2 weeks later.
  4. Your beta needs to be over 2,000 to see anything on an ultrasound.

Now let’s play!

Contestant #1 has started with a beta of 27. Although Dr. Doom and the Face Nurse shook their heads in dismay it was enough to get her into the game. Yes, she was indeed pregnant!

The next move comes from Dr. Doom and he’s playing it safe and requesting another beta. Will it double?

Anxiously Contestant #1 sits down as the Face Nurse draws her blood.

On a side note - Now that the Face Nurse has un-scrunched her face she feels the need to talk about her husband and kids while drawing my blood. Great! That’s just what every single gal sitting in a fertility clinic wants to hear.

The waiting is the hardest part…

And now the wait begins. You get your beta done in the morning before 9am and then you have to wait until the afternoon before Dr. Doom would call with the results. The stress of waiting was one of the hardest parts. I felt like my insides were completely tangled. I would take HPT test after HPT test just to make sure I was still pregnant. I was obsessed. When Dr. Doom would call I felt like I was out of my body talking in this breathless, babbling voice. On day he called really early and my sister had said “Maybe he calls early when it’s good news and later when it’s bad”. Well, “sure shit enough” my very next beta he didn’t call until later. I was positive it was bad news. When he did finally call and it was good news, I just started rambling about my sister and I am pretty sure I referred to him as Dr. Doom. I was completely crazed! I did this over the next 10 days! And just to clarify, I am pretty sure the doctor calls when he is done with his patients for the day. Not at some deviously picked time to inflict pain on those waiting for results (hmmm or do they?)

So yes, beta #2 was a 74!!! Ding Ding Ding!! More than double but wait…Dr. Doom wanted another beta? And another beta? And another beta? So Contestant #1 had to go back 2 days later for beta #3 and 2 days later for beta #4 and 2 days later for beta #5.

By #5 my beta was over a 1,000. For anyone keeping track that means it was more than doubling in the 48 hour time spans and me well I was really getting sick of seeing Dr. Doom and the Face Nurse.

I am not sure why Dr. Doom kept having me come in because each time my beta doubled. Each beta was pure torture. Maybe Dr. Doom liked torturing me? But little did I know that Dr. Doom had nothing on his partner Dr. Darth Vader whom I was about to meet under the worst of circumstances…


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Put on a Happy Face!

*Note - In order for me to move forward. To move past the last year of dedicating myself to TTC. To find my way and now dedicate myself to becoming a mom...I need to revisit the past to find my future...

A blast from the past continues...

Turn that frown upside down (or at least un-scrunch your face!)

And that’s exactly what the Face Nurse did when I walked into Dr. Dooms office on February 19th 2010. You see the only time you would go in for a beta with Dr. Doom was if you didn’t get Leroy by 15 days past your IUI. Leroy at the time was a very punctual visitor. On time every time (well at least until I started doing IVF). So for all my other IUIs by day 13 there was Leroy dashing my hopes. Not this time. Day 14. No Leroy…hmmm…I decided for the 1st time to POAS. The results were well, there weren’t any results. I had a faulty HPT. I finally decided to POAS and my HPT never gave me a control line. As a matter of fact it never gave my any line at all. And this is where this gets a little weird:

You have entered the Twilight Zone

The night before Leroy came after my 3rd IUI I went to bed repeating a certain mantra. I try to follow the teachings of Louis Hay. You can google her to get more information but her teaching have a lot to do with positive thoughts, positive mantras and loving oneself. So I was repeating the mantra “Everything I need to know is revealed to me” in the hopes that I might get a glimpse of whether or not I was pregnant. I fell asleep and had this dream. In this dream I took an HPT. I carefully peed on the stick, held it up to view the results and I watched as the window where you are supposed to get the lines turned pink. The pink dye kept filling up the window and I couldn’t tell if there were any lines and I said “What the hell does that mean” and a voice said: “It means you’re pregnant” and at that moment I woke up to a visit from Leroy. Clearly not pregnant.

But what happened in my dream is exactly what happened when I POAS after my 4th IUI. The whole thing went pink.

So, the next day I was expecting to wake up to Leroy but I didn’t so I went in for my beta. When I walked into the office the Face Nurse said to me “What are you doing here?” (with an exaggerated questionable look on her face) and I said: “I still haven’t gotten my period” That is when for the 1st time her face un-scrunched, she made a “Ohhh….” Face and then gave me a half smile and said “Let’s find out”. She took my blood and I went home to wait for the call.

Some people never change

Although the Face Nurse became a positive reinforcement, Dr. Doom kept living up to his name. He called me with my results. My beta was 27. 27 is a little low. There was cause for concern but I was pregnant with a good chance. So, instead of saying “Congratulations you’re pregnant”, Dr. Doom says to me: “Well, I am not going to say Congratulations you’re pregnant until I see your beta rising. So what I will say is that there has been fertilization and implantation. And we will see”. I hung up the phone pissed and scared.

Little did I know that I was about to experience happiness beyond measure, a despair beyond repair and end up peeing on a lot of sticks!


Monday, February 14, 2011

My Funny Valentine…

But I wanted to be your valentine (Words can't say what a love can do)…
One of the things I need to do before I move on is revisit where I've been:

A year ago on February 14th, Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday. Being single, I didn’t have any plans. Nowhere to go, no flowers, nothing to do but to be bombarded by constant “valentine” reminders of my single status. V called and asked if I wanted to go out to dinner. Well more like insisted because that is how V is. She knew I would be home alone so she called and said “Come out to dinner with me. You have to come out”. So I did. It was 10 days after my 4th IUI.

At the time I was going to Dr. Doom and the Face Nurse! I called him Dr. Doom because he never once gave me any encouragement. I had to fight with him to try something beside Clomid. When I finally got him to prescribe me injectables for my 4th IUI he made a point of letting me know that he was only doing it to humor me because “The reality is you have a practically zero percent chance of conceiving”.

It didn’t matter. I still walked out of his office triumphant knowing that I was fighting for a chance…any chance…my chance.

I called her "the Face Nurse" b/c she would always give you some kind of face. It was that half smile with her face scrunched up look while she would shake her head like "Yeah your test results weren't good!" "Better luck next time."

I wasn’t blogging at the time but I was posting regularly on the Fertile Thoughts Board. I thought I would share with you what I posted that day about my 4th IUI:

"Well I am officially PUPO. I had my IUI this morning. I was still in a blah mood driving to the clinic this morning, trying to cheer myself up with the promise of an Egg and Cheese sandwich from my favorite deli. Didn't help much. When I got to the clinic and I was going into the room for my IUI, I saw Dr. Doom. He's normally at the other office so I was like "F@$%k, can't I ever get away from this guy" and then the nurse came in and told me the Physician's Assistant Patti would be doing my IUI (and I like her...she warms the speculum!). So I stripped down, put my pink, paper napkin on, somewhat cheerful, and then the knock on the door...Dr. Doom comes in to do my IUI. He seemed to be being overly nice to me for some reason...there's no need for small talk!...even when he was downtown doing my IUI he keep asking me if I was okay and how I was doing. He performed my 1st IUI and he wasn't THAT nice. Actually my 1st IUI hurt! This one I didn't feel a thing! So, now it's done and the nurse says "Good Luck" and then Dr. Doom put his hand on my knee (feet still in stirrups) and pats my knee and says "Good Luck". Its bad enough I have to have his face between my legs, now he's touching my knee! Ughhh! As soon as he walked out the door I flicked him the bird!! I then proceeded to laugh uncontrollable for a couple of minutes before the laughter turned into tears! So now I'm on my back with a pink napkin around my naked waste with tears streaming down my face...not really the way I imagined getting pregnant (but I definitely felt f$#%ked)...Now, if I do get pregnant from this IUI...Should I pat Dr. Doom on the a%@ and say "Thank you"!!!!"

So my 4th IUI went something like that and 10 days later I was out to dinner with V on Valentine’s Day. We were indulging in some kind of crab entrée when V leans in and says to me “Your boobs look bigger.” I said “They do not.” And V says “I’ve known you for a long time and I am telling you, your boobs look bigger.” I told her she was crazy and continued with my indulgence. At some point during our meal, probably between the entrée and the dessert, I went to the bathroom. I was leaning over the sink washing my hands and I looked up into the mirror. In that moment I thought “Holy shit, my boobs really do look bigger”. 5 days later I found out I was pregnant.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The best laid plans…

From the moment I started TTC, I’ve had some kind of plan. Even if that plan was prayer (or begging the two are pretty synonymous) I knew I would keep moving forward on my journey. So, I spent a lot of time making sure I had a solid Alternate Path. It wasn’t easy but I was confident that if my last IVF cycle didn’t work, if Whiffer returned, that I would take a day or two to grieve and then proudly announce my Alternate Path without missing a beat. It turned out not to be that simple.

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up…

Is pretty much how I’ve felt this last week and a half. I’ve been in a lot of pain; both physically (damn Leroy) and emotionally. I have been second guessing my Alternate Path. I’ve starting trying to figure out ways to cycle again. To give it another shot with my eggs. I started freaking out at the thought of not cycling again. I wasn’t letting go even though I thought I already had. I was holding on. I started looking at new Paths. Making calls, googling and then I started thinking that maybe God doesn’t want me to be a mother. That he is doing everything in his power to prevent it. Maybe I should just abide by his wishes. Maybe he is preventing it because I would be a terrible mother. Yes, I even went there. I went to the deepest, darkest places of Lostville. It is not what I had planned.

I have become “uncomfortably” numb…

I have been so consumed with grief and sadness. Overwhelmed with fear and lost in my thoughts that I am almost numb. I have no focus. I can’t even seem to find a way to complete a post. I wanted to write a simple post thanking all of you wonderful ladies for the incredible amount of support you have shown me. I planned on posting it a few days after I found out I wasn’t pregnant (although I knew way before my beta) and it’s taken me over a week just to sit down and start typing. Not what I had planned. None of how I am feeling is what I had planned…

"We're not giving up; we're waiting for a better chance to win." ~ McMaster Bujold

I would like to rephrase that quote to “I’m not giving up; I’m waiting for a better chance to win."

As much as everything that I have been feeling is not what I had planned, it has bought me back full circle. I have gone through these emotional before, I have grieved, I have cried,  I have fallen and I have gotten up. And in the end I have come to the same conclusion as I did that day Dr. Doom gave me "A practically zero percent chance of conceiving". I decided to fight but this time I am fighting to become a mother no matter what. I am going to follow my Alternate Path. I am going to announce my Alternate Plan with pride and not miss a beat (well maybe one or two). I now have a plan. But there are a couple of things I need to do first…



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