Saturday, November 28, 2015


Holidays have a way of packing a wallop don't they? This time last year I was recovering from the single most traumatic experience of my life.  And a year later I am two steps forward, three steps back all over again.

I just got back from my parent's house in NYC.  The trip was great and Niblet, as always, enjoyed the energy of the city.  That's my girl.

My parents, who I have occasionally written about, continue to rock.  Don't get me wrong:  they are exhaustingly cynical and misanthropic.  They view the world through gray colored glasses really.  I am used to them, but they are tough for my husband to take in incrimements of more than three consecutive days.

But they are doting grandparents to Niblet.  And in my personal dictionary, if I look up the word SUPPORT, I promise their picture would be there for illustration.  One of the things I love about my parents is that they don't try to sugarcoat the hell and back I have been through.  They don't talk a lot about my losses, mostly because it's not a topic we bring up around Niblet.  But I've had one on one chats over the past years with both my mom and my dad about my experiences.  About therapy and about acupuncture and about vitamins and supplements.  About trying to move on with my sanity.  And it's in these talks that my parents' cynicism and anger is actually helpful.  Because with them, there is no expectation for me to move on.  Quite the contrary, I should be pissed off at this hand of mourning that I have been dealt.  "You should be angry and sad and grieve Justonemore," my mother frequently reminds me.

On the other end of the holiday spectrum, I have to steel myself for Christmas, with in-laws who persist in rambling at the dinner table about all the blessings.  As if I am not keenly and painfully aware of them.  In-laws who have never once asked how I felt after any of the losses that they knew about.  Look, this isn't uncommon, and I am not trying to grab any sympathy.  At the end of the day my in-laws are fundamentally decent people, but they are incredibly tone deaf when it comes to sensitivity and emotions.  My in-laws actually require a trip to my therapist to pregame a plan of action on Christmas Day.  The best part of the plan usually involves hiding in the bathroom.

Here's what's most notable though after spending the past four days with my mom and dad:  I walk away with hope.  I don't know if it's Trying-to-conceive sustaining hope.  I don't think it is.  We're still approaching life with the expectation that Niblet will be our one and only child.

But sitting as a passenger on the turnpike this afternoon, I had the strangest sensation.  It was like there was a voice whispering to me.  And if I were to transcribe the whispered words, they would sound something like this:

I don't expect to ever get pregnant with, carry to term, and take home a healthy baby.... But if I found myself pregnant again..... maybe there could be a teensie, tiny, slight chance that it was a genetically normal pregnancy?  Obviously not a big chance, I mean, come on, face reality, based on my past odds, I would say any pregnancy of mine is doomed before it starts.  But.... maybe the chaos overlords of the universe would determine that it was my time.  Maybe I would get one lucky roll of the dice. Bad things happen to generally decent people every day.  I can be angry, and cynical, and generally believe the bottom will drop from my life, but I can still hope a little, right?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

the road not taken twice

So recall that I am fairly certain that I had a stupid annovulatory cycle last month, so taking matters into my own hands I tried using vitex (chasteberry) this last one.  The good news is that I am certain I ovulated on CD 14 on the nose, and my period started exactly 14 days later, on CD 28.  The bad news is that this period is weak.  Light but crampy and virtually over, today on day 3.  According to Dr. Google this points to an estrogen deficiency as women approach menopause.

Ok, so you all know I am "only" 41 - elderly in fertility years, but still not a deal breaker for many many women who would like a baby.  And if you saw me you'd probably have the same WTF reaction of a few others out there, who blithely assume I am a spring chicken in my thirties.

But at the end of the day, I think I am approaching menopause.  And yes, while perimenopause is less a hard date than a length of time, I think I can safely say that I am deep in the midst of that length of time.

Aside from the fact that I have been dealing with this bullshit for almost four years now, comes the stark reality that time really is about to run out for me.  I have now gone six consecutive cycles of ttc without a pregnancy.  And as I approach the self-imposed end-date of this madness (which was heartily endorsed by my therapist), I have to decide how I want to end this run.

The question of the day: Do I take my unused packs of clomid?  Ehhh, Not sure.  On the one hand I have nothing to lose.  On the other hand, I am worried about fucking up the already delicate balance of my hormones, which are clearly on the fritz right now.

There's also the fact that I went down this road before.  As a matter of fact, I got pregnant on my third clomid cycle (with an IUI).  I also miscarried.  I also found myself with a dangerously high FSH when I emerged from it.  While my then-RE said that one had nothing to do with other, I am not so sure.

Interestingly, my acupuncturist doesn't view taking the clomid as a bad idea.  Lots of AMA+DOR women use clomid on mini-IVF cycles.... but not a whole lot of them are walking around with five rings on their middle finger representing lost babies. 

While in theory I am not opposed to exploding my ovaries to increase my chances of pregnancy, a tiny little part of my brain is screaming  "Stop that madness.  YOU HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE."  It's a little nagging voice that lives in the wisdom of my experience and and for some reason it's telling me this could do more harm than good.

I am a strategist in my day job.  People pay me first to research things and then to use that research to come to a conclusion on what steps to take next.

I'll admit it now:  I was completely stumped on this one... that is, until my pathetic period a day ago.  My lining is thin.  Clomid is well known (over time at least) to have a bad effect on the uterine lining, thinning it, actually.

Bam.  There's my answer.  My disappointingly thin lining means that clomid is a non-starter.  At least this month.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Blood and stuff

So check this out, I am pre-diabetic.  Can you believe it, Dr. Cuddles was right all along so many moons ago that I was developing insulin resistance.  Crazy, right?  I've said it before, I am pretty fit.  I don't look like someone headed towards Type 2 Diabetes. I eat my greens, stay away from sodas and juices, and try not to mainline the cookies and donuts.  I don't drink, barely a glass of wine a week.  But apparently this isn't enough to carry on as a lifestyle because my hemoglobin numbers came back troubling.

Sigh.  They just opened an "artisinal donut" shop near my house and on a day off I partook in my first  - and now last - chocolate creme filled moment of ecstacy.  So much for life's tiny pleasures.

The trickier one for me is bread. I have done a pretty good job of curbing the pastas and potatoes.  But being of French extraction, I splurge on piece of baguette with cheese, or a croissant, on a weekly basis. I live near an amazing french bakey and I sometimes feel like it's my mothership.  Meme Celine, my paternal grandmother, introduced me to the joys of pain au chocolat,  or a breakfast of just some bread and a slice of brie.  Curbing this weekly indulgence will feel like a true sacrifice.  My Dad, who just shared that he has also had similar hemoglobin numbers, advised that I turn my weekly treat into a monthly one.  We'll see how that goes.

And don't get me started on my husband, who drinks like ten beers over the course of a weekend, could easily stand to drop a ton of weight, and still has pristine sugar numbers. 

On the other hand, my Vitamin D levels are now normal and the 5000 IU/day appears to be doing the trick.

I also appear to have ovulated at the right time, just a few hours shy of CD 14 in the middle of the night, so the vitex could be working too.

If I get a normal period this month I will call it a success.