Saturday, November 30, 2013

a post of wishes and hockey and rhymes

So my period is arriving.... ugh, right as I type this.  For the past few months this the arrival of AF ("aunt flo" to those who don't spend countless hours in fertility conversations) has been marked by a feeling of utter despondency.  However, today it  arrives with more of a sigh, and mostly crossed fingers, toes and eyes, hopes that my Asherman's isn't returning.  You know what I want for Hanukkah? FLO.  I want to get a normal looking period, that's what I want.  I want to have to wear the mother of all maxi pads.  Enjoy that visual.

Meanwhile, this December Husband and I will have precisely one shot at rendering me knocked up because he will be traveling for work during the exact days that I will likely ovulate.  And I mean one shot, right at the crack of dawn before he leaves - the goal of all goals for the month.  I've even asked the dude to practice some visualization exercises.  Given this circumstance of unfortunate timing working against us I am not really holding out any hope for us to conceive in 2013.  December will also mark my sixth cycle in a row of trying to conceive since my last miscarriage, an ominous milestone.  So I am excited to have my monthly visit with Dr. Cuddles in two weeks.  We can have our usual warm and fuzzy conversation, where I can beg her to probe my cervix with a pipelle, because this is what you do when you have a problem with scar tissue growing over it.  We can also discuss clomid and the nuts and bolts of intra-uterine insemination.  Ahhh yes, I forsee fun times.

Yes, I am strangely calm about all of this tonight.  My new mantra is "Right now I am thirty-nine... my egg reserve's not in complete decline...."  Catchy right?

Monday, November 25, 2013


Sore boobs: Check. 
Headaches:  Check.
Vivid, gory dreams:  Check.
Home pregnancy test this morning:  Big Fat Negative.

I swear, if this is my new normal in PMS, I will absolutely go insane.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


This morning I am up at 8 DPO (eight days post ovulation in my two-week-wait, for the uninitiated), and a new lab popped into my account through the hospital lab report system.  Actually, it is an old lab, my AMH result - anti-mullerian hormone - another indicator of ovarian reserve.  While my FSH was a respectable number for a late-39 year old, my AMH is just "okay" - literally, the word used by Dr. Cuddles in the lab report.  I am not someone approaching 40 with the egg reserve of a 32 year old.  I am approaching 40 with the normal diminishing egg reserve of a near 40 year old.  Could I get pregnant? Sure, though with a high likelihood of using eggs with diminishing quality and a high potential for miscarriage.  Could a stroke of good fortune after some of the fertility nightmares I've experienced render this whole conversation moot?  Sure, though I am wise enough now not to bet on miracles anymore, not when I am already so blessed with what I have.

In the middle of the night last night, I awoke with a startling headache and sensation of dizziness, following some pretty wretched -and gory - dreams.  The old me would be all "oooh, maybe it's a pregnancy symptom."  The new me believes this is my body's new normal for PMS symptoms.

And with that, I told Husband this morning I would agree to my RE's suggestion to try to beat this clock a little.  I will agree to a cycle or two of Clomid, and assuming that doesn't work (and also assuming we can find the money for it) will consider moving to injectables, perhaps with IUI.  These drugs will stimulate my ovaries to produce more eggs a cycle, increasing the likelihood of getting a good one.  Is there a risk of multiples?  Gah, yes.  But it is a risk I think I am willing to take.

IVF remains a path I just can't consider.  Never say never they say, and god knows, when I thought we were carriers of a balanced translocation I was all, "sign me up!"  However, our insurance (actually husband's insurance) will only pay for IVF after two years of infertility - I hope to learn in my follow-up appointment with Dr. Cuddles whether she could code two chromosomally related miscarriages as infertility.  If those miscarriages are viewed by the insurance company as "you're not infertile" - then IVF will easily be ruled out for us, because we don't have $30K to pop for it (we barely have savings for IUI).

There's also this:  I know too many women who have suffered the depression of failed IVFs.  I can only imagine it to be a hypermagified sense of loss.  All of the struggle, the timing, the hormones, the literal physical pain you endure - and it comes with a very low statistical success rate for women in my age bracket.  No, I don't think I can do it.  I admire the women with the resolve to push there, but I am not one of them.  My beautiful - albeit small - family of 3 will be enough (I think).

Another thing struck me this weekend:  I think I do need to put a time limit on this endeavor.  I have been trying to have another baby since 2012.  We are on the cusp of 2014.  Two years of miscarriages, surgeries, complications have been exhausting, now that I am emerging from it.  I can't put an age - say, 42, - or a year  - say, 2016 - on this, but I have to come to terms with the reality that I don't have an infinite amount of energy.  I can't make baby-making a mission.  I can make it the subject of a blog, and spend many hours talking to virtual friends about it, and I may end up in therapy over it, but I have to find a way to balance this pure longing with the ability to function in my daily life.  And I suspect the only way to do that is to let it go.

I see now that this is a pretty eastern way of viewing the world.  Hell, maybe all of this acupuncture is working.

Monday, November 18, 2013

It really WAS too much halloween candy

My glucose is 79.  Take that and your atkins diet too Dr. Cuddles.  I'm not pre-diabetic.   Jeesh.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Back in the game?

Operative hysteroscopies are a barrel of laughs, I tell ya. 

So, I'll confess, I had some doubts going into this one...but hey, turns out my Asherman's adhesions were reforming around my cervix (pesky fuckers) and she cleared those away.  Not enough to completely seal it off like the last time, but they were visible to me on the beautiful picture I got of my hoo-ha, so it's to not have to worry about that now!

Dr. Cuddles (yes, THIS is how I shall refer to my RE from here on in) was far more concerned with the results from my pre-op bloodwork though.  "Are you or anyone in your family diabetic?" she asked sternly.  Umm, no.  I didn't even develop gestational diabetes when pregnant with niblet.  Turns out my glucose, when tested a week ago, was 173.  "Normal" should be in the 70-99 range.  Gulp.  Was it the Halloween candy I stash in my desk?  I have been strictly ordered to lay off of bread, pasta and potatoes (thanks Dr. Cuddles), and retest this asap, as the glucose levels could be affecting my cycle and causing my premenstrual spotting.  Interesting.  And of course, worrying. 

On the happy front: My estradiol levels are normal.  In fact, my FSH is "normal" for a gal my age as well (say yeah for the one hearty ovary!) And again, my uterus is clear, huzzah!

On the less happy front, Dr. Cuddles has officially suggested that I go down the rabbit hole. Seeing as how this is her bread and butter, I'm not terribly surprised. She believes some rounds of Clomid would be in order, to get me to pop out more potentially healthy eggs to work with.  She also mentioned IVF with pre-genetic screening, in the event my body wouldn't find that one good egg on its own ("You are 39 after all").....however, I am not quite ready to go there.  Lord knows, I've never wanted to go there, having been able to get pregnant three times the old-fashioned way.  My insurance covers zip in the way of fertility treatments, and husbands only begins to cover IVF after a year of infertility (we are officially entering the 6 month mark).  I suppose if I'm not pregnant in another 6 months I will entertain the thought.  Sigh.

In the meantime, I will just continue to down my Co-Q 10 supplements like there's no tomorrow and convince myself that acupuncture is re-aligning my chi properly, or whatever it's supposed to do. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The universe is talking to me (and I'm not completely batsh*t crazy).

So, a common theme I have seen on the repeat pregnancy loss boards is the idea of signs, guideposts from the universe giving us strength to keep on keepin' on.

It's a no-brainer for me to continue trying to conceive until I take home a "rainbow" baby.  But recently I realized that not everyone viewed my situation as so cut and dry.  One friend gently questioned whether I would consider adoption or fostering... Another asked whether I was giving myself a cut-off date to give parents recently questioned why I was continuing to put myself through the physical ringer with batteries of tests and blood draws... couldn't I cut my losses and accept life as a family of three with just Husband and the adorable niblet I already have?

Encountering these kinds of responses to your narrative certainly makes one pause.

Besides just providing my stock answer here, that "I will only be done when the risks of grief outweighs the joy of  success," I am compelled to describe two recent instances of clarity.  Two experiences that tell me I am on the only path I can be on right now.

A few weeks ago, after an exhausting business-trip, I encountered a stunningly beautiful woman on my Amtrak ride home, we became seatmates.  She had a shit-ton of luggage and I, being on crutches at the time, needed a place to rest my leg.  Her luggage was comfy and she was just....lovely.  In all ways.  I mean, I had never seen anyone exude such an aura of grace.  A mother of 3 who lived in France and was visiting one of her kids in college.  A former dancer and macrobiotic chef (who shared some healthy snacks with me).  And somehow, in our ramblings riding along the east coast, she came to share with me that she had lost a baby at 42.  And I started to cry.  And she held my hand.  And didn't offer platitudes.  But as we talked she offered me strength and I swear, a level of comfort that no one could replicate.  And during our talk my resolve strengthened, my inexplicable desire to have a baby firmed.  And it was cray-cray-craaaaazy, because for the first time in my life I wondered whether God really existed.  No, for reals.  I am agnostic, "spiritual" if you will, but have always been kind of skittish on the question of a true "higher power" - but putting this woman in my path, on that night.... I can't process it in any other way.  I needed her and she appeared before me like a freaking angel.

And then yesterday, the universe plastered a very different sign in front of my face.  I was sitting in my RE's office waiting-area when a young, 20-ish woman walked in with a baby stroller, holding an adorable little cherub of an infant boy.  And at first I thought she was a new mother....but then I wondered if she was a nanny or babysitter.  And I watched her give the baby a bottle while staring at her phone and doing some impressive nearly one-handed texting.... and he fussed and she kept texting.  And he drank that bottle up and started getting that uncomfortable look I recognized, the same "hey, lady, please fucking burp me" face that niblet would make after eating every meal.  And she started rocking his stroller back and forth, not looking up from her VERY IMPORTANT TEXT, and then he started to cry.  And he started to wave his little arms frantically, as if to say, "Please, unstrap me, this totally sucks, for the love of all that's holy, pick me up!"  And she never looked up from the phone.  And I sat there squirming, trying not to watch, trying not to judge, and trying even harder not to jump up, unstrap the poor kid and give him the burp he desperately wanted.  So I was sitting there, trying to formulate a way to offer unsolicited advice or help to her, in a way that wouldn't come off as obnoxious and judge-y, when she got up and (at this point, the baby is screaming) and told the receptionist she was bringing the baby to his father in the restaurant in the lobby, and then left the office.

And I only then realized I was holding my breath the entire time. 

At that moment I saw clearly that for some inexplicable reason, I want - no, I need to be responsible for another baby.  I need to hug and feed and burp and soothe a baby.  Me, of all people, with MY particular baby experience -- Niblet had COLIC (capitalized for effect) and it was like something out of a gross-out comedy (seriously, I was always covered in refluxed milk).  But I can't help it, God help me, I want to do it all over again.

And to anyone who says, "Justonemorebaby, you're crazy, come on, at your age? After what you've been through?"  My response right now: I think I'd manage just fine.

Monday, November 4, 2013

And..... surgery.

Nothing like gearing yourself up for a test (in my case, a saline sonogram) only to learn, "you know what?  I really need to look inside your uterus with a hysteroscope."

My hormones appear to be normal, yet my period is spotty and on the fritz, my lining appears mysteriously thin, and there is some unidentifiable thing in my uterus (Blood pocket?  Polyp? Who the fuck knows). 

And so next week I go in for some fun out-patient surgery.  At least I'm not waiting too long for my lack of answers.