When Life Gives You Lemons

Trying to make the most out of infertility, and life in general. This is my journey to conceive, after a miscarriage and D&C that left me with Asherman's Syndrome.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The anticipation of seeing red

This cycle didn't work, I just know it. I'm on cd23, and my breasts aren't tender, I'm not peeing constantly and I smell nothing. I know, lots of people don't have any pregnancy symptoms, but I just have this gut feeling. My period must soon be approaching. In a way, it would be a relief. I can start over next cycle and be less anxious about the IUI having been through it once already. I can stop feeling guilty about that one piece of sushi I had on cd15. I just hope AF comes on in full force.

The thing with Ashermans is that every month I'm on pins and needles waiting to see if AF arrives and if she'll be forceful and strong in her flow, or light and weak like the past few months. Each month I am terrified that I have re-scarred and that I'll again have all of the signs of a period without the flow. Gone are the days when I dreaded my period as a teenager because it interfered with my swimming or travel schedule or was just an inconvenience. Gone are the days of TTC when I dreaded getting my period, reminding me I was still un-pregnant. If I don't get my period I would hope it's because I "fell" pregnant, not because I have re-scarred.

Is there a light at the end of this tunnel? Or is the tunnel too blocked up with scar tissue to allow anything to flow in or out? I feel like my head is all over the place and I can't even think or write clearly. Too many hormones are swimming around in my brain.

Oh, and my prolactin did indeed come up as elevated. So now I have to take Dostinex twice a week to control this until I get a positive preg. test. My internist wants me to go for an MRI to rule out a pituitary tumor. Don't they realize I'm a hypochondriac, and saying things like tumor and MRI to someone like me is just cause for more alarm? I'm trying to take this one day at a time but this isn't helping me.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My grief is better than yours

So a friend of mine recently lost her father. Granted, the circumstances under which he died are heartbreaking: he suffered from depression and committed suicide at 65. I realize this must be a terrible loss - to lose your parent and not have time to process your lifetime together or properly say goodbye. I though I was being a good friend by checking in with my grieving friend and making sure she was ok. I made plans with her, laughed when I thought she wanted to laugh and listened when I thought she need a good cry. I'm not trying to toot my own here, I'm clearly not without fault, but a few weeks ago I had a tizzy with this friend over our mutual states of suffering. I'm still slightly seething about the situation. We had plans to get together, and as the day drew closer, I fessed up that I wasn't feeling very positive and capable of giving her moral support and didn't know if I was up for a hang out. This was toward the end of my 42 day cycle, where I wondered if my period was ever going to show up, and I was feeling very emotional and mental. When I told her I was feeling this way, she cancelled on me and told me she couldn't be around someone so depressive and in a state of such despair. She basically told me she couldn't be my friend right now and that I should seek professional help. So I'm not allowed to have a mental moment and feel really bad about myself? That seems really harsh. I'm not allowed to share with a friend when I'm feeling hopeless? Then what's the point in calling that person a friend in the first place. I'm not entitled to my feelings yet she can cry to me and hold it against me that she lost her father.
I know what's it's like to hurt and to feel heavy, yet I'm not entitled to throw myself a pity party b/c someone else is suffering? I'm tired of being the bigger person, of having to put my own emotions aside to be there for someone else.
So to this I say, Selfish Much?!?! I have been dealing with my grief for almost a year now. I too had a loss, and although my loss didn't get to be buried, or eulogized or put into thoughts of remembrance, to me the pain of loss was and still is very real. Where was my cheer up session, my offers to go get ice cream, or eat Chinese food or just watch a movie? I feel like I was just dismissed with the typical "Get Over it -you had a miscarriage, lots of people do".
I say It's normal to have to deal with the loss of parent. I realize I'm fortunate to still have both of mine here, but I know there will be a time when I too will need to say goodbye to them and I try to tel lthem I love them often. But the loss of a pregnancy - and with it the loss of any potential...well, none of us should have to deal with that.
So I say my grief goes deeper than hers - it's physical, it resulted in 3 surgeries. I experienced real tangible pain in addition to the emotional sense of emptiness that accompanied my loss. I was put on hormones and antibiotics that wreaked havoc on my body. I lost something I can never gain back, and with it my hopes and dreams for the possibility of my own family. I think I win.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Only in NY

The craziest "Only in NY" thing happened to me yesterday. I was standing outside my office, waiting for the bus, freezing b/c I wasn't dressed right for this unseasonably cold June day. I was talking to my co worker/friend A, when I saw a cab coming towards me. I decided to take a cab home, and got in. The cab driver asked me if I was talking to my boyfriend, and I said no, it was just my friend. I told him I was married, and he said, oh, that's too bad. So I thought he was just being nice and flirty and trying to make conversation.
He then asked me if he looked familiar to me. I said no. He asked if I had recognized him from the Today Show, David Letterman, Oprah, or his own show on the Discovery Network. I thought this man was on drugs and contemplated getting out of this whack job's cab. He then proceeded to tell me that he is famous, known the world over as the Matchmaking Cabbie. He said he has an incredible track record for setting up his passengers. He pulled out press clippings of articles written about him in People, Glamour, and Wall Street Journal! This guy was for real. Apparently he runs a matchmaking service out of his cab, and one of his set ups resulted in a marriage - he drove the couple to their wedding in his taxicab. He also told me that women in NY are looking for the wrong thing in men; they all want "rich, good looking Tom Cruise types, but doesn't every NY girl know by now that he's gay?!?!)" And he also told me he thought that" 50% of all the single men in NY were gay and then 1/2 of the other half are just trying to be gay." Totally random.
He also told me that he is famous for decorating his cab at Christmas time with holiday decorations and lights, and takes pictures of all his passengers in his cab during the holidays. He showed me the pics. Oh, and if you are a single lady and you happen to get in his cab on Valentines Day, he'll have a single red rose waiting for you.
So I got home and Google'd this guy and sure enough, he's for real

Friday, June 23, 2006

Why Aren't My Boobs Bigger?

I don't mean to ask that in the general sense. I'm rather average-breasted. But I'm now 4 days post IUI, and I'm pretty sure I've ovulated, so why aren't the puppies barking? Last month, my breasts were sore for what felt like weeks, when in actually it was probably only 2 weeks. I think the soreness started pretty much right after ovulation? So where's that feeling now? I cant' help but read into every sign, or lack thereof, and assume this means I'm not pregnant this time around. Which is fine, I think. We'll try IUI again if this time didn't work. Of course saying and believing it are two different things. I really want to be pregnant. I cant' stand waiting. I keep thinking my child should be 4 + months now or at least I should be pregnant and giving birth imminently. It's so unfair. But back to my breasts. Why do they feel totally normal?

Oh, and yesterday I got a call from the latest dermatologist I decided to see, just for a regular mole check. Turns out he found something called an atypical melanocyte in one of the moles he removed from my upper arm. Great. Just fuckin great. Just wait I need right now. Possible melanoma. And here I was supposed to be all calm and relaxed, trying to stay positive knowing I'm doing IUI and I'm cultivating this state of calm. Yeah, that's a joke. I've cried twice yesterday, once to B on the phone and once to myself , when I first got the news. And today I teared up again. I know it might turn out to be nothing - my mom had a few melanoma scares and everything turned out ok. But given my shitty luck when it comes to all matters health related, I'm slowly mentally preparing myself for the worst. Tomorrow I go back to Dr. S's office for another blood test. It's basically to check my progesterone level (will they know if I'm pregnant 5 days post IUI?!?!?) but also to re-check my prolactin levels. My recent blood work pre IUI just came back yesterday, and the bloodwork showed that I had elevated prolactin. I understand what this means in pregnant women, but I'm not pregnant and this news is just cruel. Could this have been a result from Clomid medication prior to IUI? I read online that some symptoms include lack of ovulation, but I've been ovulating just fine (albeit late this last cycle pre IUI). I am a medical mystery. I need to find a new dermatologist. The guy I went to skeeved me bigtime. He had a really unpleasant bedside manner, making me feel like a fish filet he was gutting. He turned me this way and that, arms flayling. No sympathy for my infertiltiy sobs. No words of advice or encouragement. Oh, and he told me I have yeast on my face and that's why I'm breaking out. Huh - what the fuck? I can't process this all now. Ok, off to acupuncture to be poked with needles.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A brief history.

In July 2005, I had a miscarriage at 11.5 weeks and as hard as it was, B and I bounced back emotionally and became confident we would try again. So I had a D&C after the miscarriage, since I didn't know I had miscarried. There were no signs and I wasn't bleeding at all. Basically there was no heartbeat and the OBGYN recommended the D&C. 4 months post D&C I still had not gotten my period. I kept going back for check ups to my OBGYN who kept saying I should get my period in 5-6 weeks, which turned into 6-8 weeks, then 8-10, etc. Finally, after 15 weeks of this I had been poked and prodded by my OBGYN so much that I decided to give up and go see a fertility specialist. I had also had a hysterosonogram which didn't reveal anything was wrong so I was put on Provera in the hopes of inducing my period. When the Provera didn't work, I panicked. Long story short, I got diagnosed by an RE/fertility specialist with something called Asherman's Syndrome through simply listening to my story, and doing a 3D ultrasound. He sent me for an HSG, which hurt like hell and then some, and of course no dye could get into my uterus. Upon telling this to the OBGYN, they laughed at me, saying I couldn't possibly have that as it's so rare. Well I must be a total freak, what can I say b/c that's what I'm now dealing with.

I felt terrified and devastated and just completely broken. Plus, I'm the worlds biggest pessimist so it was, and still is, hard for me to stay positive and take it one step at a time. I'm constantly trying not to get hysterical about it all. I went through a battery of emotions, and fought hard (without succeeding) from crying and feeling like this is so unfair and this kind of shit only seems to be happening to me.

In December 2005, I had a hysteroscopy, which confirmed moderate Asherman's. Dr. S was able to cut away the adhesions, and put me on antibiotics ( 5 days of Z Pak) and estrogen (2 weeks of Estrace at 2mg/twice a day) . Things were chugging along smoothly. The combo of the hysteroscopy/hormone therapy brought back some semblance of menstrual flow, albeit very light. Then in March, another HSG again was again inconclusive. No dye got in, but at least this time it wasn't so painful, just crampy. March '06 brought another medical procedure, under "twilight" anesthesia - a cervical dilation. Dr. S was able to get into my ute, which he thought looked ok. More hormones, and finally a period followed in March. Again the period was light, lasting a day and a half. And to think there used to be days when I dreaded getting my period. Both as a nuisance, and as I was TTC for a few months prior to actually getting pregnant. Now it's all I live for.

This past cycle took forever to come, but 42 days brought me friend Auntie Flo. So I started Clomid and just did my first IUI. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Starting Out

I'm joining the blogging revolution. I figure I might not have much to say, but it might help me get my thoughts out of my head and onto virtual paper. I don't know yet who will be reading his. Probably just me, as a way of processing my journey but perhaps I'll join the online community and find support in other bloggers words and comments. Perhaps I'll share this with family and friends too. This will also just give me at outlet for my rants, especially on days when I'm feeling moody, bitchy, and very negative. But I'll try to comment on other things, not just infertility. Like for instance my recent obsession with celebrities. And celebrity pregnancies. Which kind of drive me nuts, but it's like a car accident - I can't help but look in.

First, let me offer an introduction. I've recently, if you count one year as recently, entered the sorry world of infertility. It's a scary, frightening, overwhelming, frustrating, negative, and an emotional roller coaster of a place to be, to say the least. My marriage has been tested, my sense of self has been tested, my sense of purpose has been tested, and my body has been tested as well. I'll share my medical history in follow-up posts. Right now it's too draining to type about it. But I'm hoping to get through this and find the happiness I used to treasure.

Going through infertility has been very challenging. I find some comfort knowing that I'm not going through this alone. I've recently started reading other people's blogs about their own struggles to build their families, and it's been a cathartic process. It makes me feel less alone and validates my emotions in a way that I haven't been able to get from most friends. Unless you've gone through this yourself, you can't begin to process the pain and despair that lives inside an infertile. There's an online community of people who understand, and I hope they'll be there for my ups and downs and share advice and perspective.

So join me, read on. I welcome your advice, knowing that I can't do this alone.

My blog's name
Well, you all know that expression when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. I am trying to do just that, but not always succeeding.