Tuesday, December 31, 2013

To positivity!

Today I'm on Day 2 of Clomid.  If it works, booyah!  If it doesn't, onwards and upwards! 

With that I am pulling myself out of this funk right now to remind myself that I have much to be grateful for as we head in to 2014.  Husband. Niblet. Stable employment. Many loved ones in good health. 

A joyous New Year to all!

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Clomiphene New Year

After a ridiculously stressful four day period of not getting a period, testing negative on HPTs and all-around freaking the fuck out that my Asherman's had reared its ugly head, I finally got my period yesterday.

Day 1 was marked by my complete inability to deal with my emotions. I was a basket-case yesterday, which began bright and early in the am, with my attempting to work out to a zumba DVD and learning that my knee is totally not healed. In fact, it's a mess and all of the movement that I used to rock so hard, all of my ability to dance and shake and jump that I took for granted is still elusive. So I moved on to a gentler ballet class video, finished it and sat down to cry for the loss of my former self. When I say cried I mean cried. It just hit me so hard that the molar pregnancy, the Asherman's, the second miscarriage, all of these events were survivable so long as I could get my endorphins up and dance.  But now that I can't, I am losing it.  Just falling apart physically and emotionally. 

Today, Day 2 was marked with the start of my first course of Clomid.

Clomid.  Wow.  In the world of fertility this is  no big deal.  While the follicle-stimulating drug has done wonders for many women, at my age it hardly produces miraculous results.  As per my usual reasoning, I wonder whether I will be in the fractional percentage for whom the drug produces some nasty side-effects.  Perhaps it won't impact me at all.  Alternatively, I could become a member of the small percentage who become impregnated with twins.  Frankly, it's all too much for my mind to wrap around. 

I also anticipate beginning an IUI cycle next week, and we are awaiting the results of Husband's semen analysis.  Statistics put the success rate of IUI for a woman my age at around 10%.  So I have nothing to warrant getting my hopes up.  We have some money tucked away for a few IUIs, but for the near future that will be the end of our road in the world of assisted reproduction. 

In 2013 I was a part-time dance teacher who could bounce around to latin dance music to shake the blues away.  I am entering 2014 a little pudgier, more stressed out, and on a course of fertility drugs. I feel like a poor facsimile of my former self.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Hanging in there on the Holidays

To all of my readers, I wish you happy holidays.  And to my readers who deal with repeat pregnancy loss and infertility, I am truly sending you all of the positive energy I have.

Tis the season of exhaustion. 

It's lovely to be grateful for all that we have - hopefully, good health, kind supportive family.... but this is also the time of year where things get dangerously reflective for some. 

For those of us struggling to have a healthy baby, it's just.... difficult. 

I am Jewish, but I LOVE Christmas.  Maybe it's my fondness for  Dickens.  The lights.  The food (god, yes, the food - don't read this Dr. Cuddles, World's Sternest Reproductive Endocrinologist, I promise, I am getting around to dropping ten pounds for you).  But since losing pregnancies, this time of year is hard.  Niblet's grandparents are downstairs right now as I write this.  She is one lucky niblet to have so much love in her life.  But anyone in my position will attest that the forced cheer and smiles suck the life out of you.  I just spent a good hour in the upstairs bathroom, taking the longest shower I could get away with.  My period is due tomorrow and by all evidence it's coming.  Another cycle to get one's hopes up.  Another year.

To my readers who have suffered losses and are struggling this time of year, I wish you gentler days ahead.  Treat yourself to those stolen moments away - in your shower, on a brisk walk away from the family that you don't want to break down in front of,  maybe "grabbing something you left in your car" if you're desparate - do whatever it is you gotta do.  It's a season that signifies love and peace, and I wish you most of all, peace.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Good morning brain. You can shut down now.

Information has been thrown my way today that is incredibly calming, I LOVE days like this.

To start: this morning I learned that an old friend is pregnant with her first, and my knee-jerk reaction was pure unadulterated joy for her.  Instead of the jealousy that usually creeps in.  For the first time in a while, I just smiled at a beautiful facebook picture.  Guys, this is a new experience for me.  It doesn't hurt that she is roughly my age, a source of hope for an AMA chick like myself.

Than later this morning I got a call from the nice nurse coordinator who deals with scheduling and insurance in Dr. Cuddles' office.  It turns out that my husband's insurance will probably not cover ANYTHING related to fertility treatments because I am technically not infertile.  My two miscarriages don't count, and I need two years of never getting pregnant for their coverage to kick in on anything, IUI or IVF.

Here comes the crazy part:  I am THRILLED about this!

Last night I tossed and turned about IVF.  I had been considering dropping my excellent primary insurance coverage to go on my husband's plan.... but this would have a domino effect of eliminating other benefits I enjoy from the plan (including a childcare benefit I get for niblet).  Not to mention I was torn about embarking on a very difficult physical and emotional set of procedures that kinda/maybe could get me successfully impregnated  - some stats put my success rate as low as 20%.

Well, thanks to this new info - that my husband's plan wouldn't cover IVF even if we wanted it - I don't have to think about this anymore. It's one less thing to wrack my brain over. Yay!  We don't have $15K lying around, period.  We do have some savings we carved aside for IUIs, but that's it, that's as far as we can go without tapping into retirement savings (and we consider ourselves lucky to have that).   I no longer have to envision a future where the best possible scenario includes our children taking care of their elderly-assed parents, who foolishly took a penalty on the 401K to bring them into this world!

Monday, December 16, 2013

What the world needs now...

An incredible video came my way that I must share.  It is about empathy.  And how different empathy is from sympathy. I am always thinking about this sisterhood I am now a member of... and I was just gob-smacked at how amazing this video is.  Short and sweet, it hits the message out of the park. 


To every person who crosses my path, may empathy be the response that is offered when you are in that deep dark hole.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

a bitter dose of reality

So I tend to live in blissful ignorance of most reality tv.  It's not that I'm "above it" (though I confess as much of a snobbish Downton Abbey obsession as anyone).  We don't have cable - not so much because it's an entertainment wasteland, but frankly because it costs a lot of fucking money and is the ultimate time suck. 

I am vaguely aware of The Little Couple, actually I have heard some good things about it.  Well, now the show is providing an interesting conversation starter for us molar survivors, as this came across the babycenter molar pregnancy support board the other day: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2521967/Little-Couple-star-Jen-Arnold-reveals-cancer-uterus-caused-nonviable-pregnancy.html

In case you didn't read the link, Jen, the intrepid star of the show fell pregnant and miscarried.  With a molar pregnancy.  Which quickly turned cancerous, failed to respond to chemo, spread to her lungs, and ultimately sacrificed her uterus.

Oh my god, if this isn't the worst case of the worst case scenarios, I don't know what is.  Molar pregnancies are incredibly rare.  Developing choriocarcinoma - and ultimately requiring a hysterectomy - is like, the pinnacle of rarity, and some kind of cruel joke of the universe.  This is without a question, the worst fucking thing I have read all week.  I am wracking my brain to try to comprehend how this poor woman had to suffer even more than the "mere" devastation of a miscarriage with cancer, but it's a pointless exercise.  Fucking molar pregnancies.

I would love to reach out to her with the women on the bbc board.  Of all of my reproductive "mishaps" I found my Partial Molar Pregnancy to be the most isolating experience imaginable.  "It's a baby.... Noooo.....It's a "cancer baby"....It's out of fucking science fiction, that's what it is.  Medically speaking it's damn difficult to describe, and the combination of grief and fear that pervades is unreal.  Maybe a message from some other women who survived would be helpful. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013


In the past few days I have had the uncomfortable feeling that hits you when you realize that there is a world of knowledge and experience trapped in your brain that is impossible to translate to most of your friends, family, or that cool chick you like to talk to in the office lunch room.  And it's not like the knowledge possessed by that boring guy who can ring off baseball stats, or the history buff with encyclopedic knowledge of the battle of Gettysburg.

Instead, your "expertise" is kinda depressing.

Hitting my various support boards to chat about OBs vs REs, IVF vs IUI, Day 3 tests, Day 21 tests, RPL, PCOS, FSH, AMH, estradiol, follicular counts, luteal phase defects, clomid, femara, GonalF, blastocysts, PGS, PGD, hysteroscopies, HSGs, SHGs, progesterone suppositories, shots and pills, lovenox, temping, cervical mucus, estrace, betas, dpo, hcg, CMPs, PMPs, cytotec, D&Cs/D&Es, blighted ova, trisomies, triploidies,  translocations, karyotyping, spotting, septums, uterine adhesions, fibroids, polyps, corpeus luteum cysts, sub-chronic hematomas, red leaf teas, Vitamin E, Vitex, Maca, CoQ10, castor oil packs, musinex and the supreme importance of wearing slipper socks when your feet are cold.... well, I sometimes wonder if I could have completely rocked at something like trigonometry if I used half the energy I have spent in the goal of becoming a fertility expert.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Stagnant Chi no more.

So here is the moment in our regularly scheduled programming where I become a complete shill for acupuncture and the entire eastern medicine industry.  Because for the first time since April of 2012 - yes, 2012 - I had a normal period.  A period that had no spotting prior to its arrival and was heavy and normal when it arrived.  It's a freaking miracle, and the only changes in the mix are the weekly acupuncture sessions I have gone to for the past 2 months or so.  Yes, my recent hysteroscopy allowed a normal bloodflow (thanks for clearing my cervix Dr. Cuddles!) but would not have addressed the mysterious spotting, and having plenty of FLO in the old "aunt flo" is a pretty new development too.  My rockstar acupuncturist is convinced that my Chi was stagnant, and blood wasn't flowing properly to my uterus.  Well, the traffic jam of my chi has been cleared ya'll, we're back in the game. 

And since my period came a day early, husband and I also have an extra shot this cycle.  I won't get my hopes up at all, given the fact that I just don't get knocked up as easily as I did when I was younger.  I fully expect to have a long hard talk on Monday with Dr. Cuddles about my medicated options, but this month is improving radically.