Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bed rest is not for the strong willed (stubborn)

So, here I am day 3 of "bed rest." Mostly strict bed rest for the 1st 24ish hrs, then kinda sitting up and and lying down at different times yesterday and today. I went out for a brief drive and meal w/ my parents who were in town, but now they are gone and it is just me and DH again. I realize there are only so many things one can do while not able to sit or stand for extended periods of time.
The thing that makes it worse for me is the uncertainty. What difference will it make that I walked those extra steps today, or that I wasn't entirely lying flat for the last 48 hours? I have read countless forums, infertility websites, and such that say one thing or the other, that you should increase blood flow and go about your life as normal. Of course they spout these things without statistics and I don't know any better so all I have is the word of my infertility clinic and hope that at some point I will be doing something right.
But I won't know anything for two weeks... WEEKS! Uuggh. I will go back to normal activities tomorrow because in the end, at least in my mind, it is in God's hands, and this is in his will I can be doing a triathlon and it will still happen. I am doing all of this mostly for my sanity. If something goes wrong, I won't allow myself to find blame in how long I sat or walked, or the time I got up 3 times in a row because I was tired of asking DH to do every little thing for me. 
It is a beautiful weekend outside with wonderful hiking weather and all I can do is ask DH to open the windows and imagine myself outside walking about.

On another, less whiny note, I did get to see the embryos before they transferred them and the cell bio geek in me was jumping for joy. And honestly, how many can say: "Gosh, it's like it was just yesterday I saw them at the blastocyst stage..."  =P

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Emotional state: Clomid vs. IVF

I was reflecting on how calm I have felt relative to when I was doing the Clomid all of last year. It came up because I had an exceptionally annoying day at work, where co-workers told me about injustices toward other co-workers and those things usually upset me. Don't get me wrong, I was outraged and saddened by the things that people were telling me, but I didn't lose my temper, or go off somewhere to cry. I just said what I had to say and walked away, just as calm as before all of this.
I thought at first, that it must be that what I had heard about IVF drugs not being so bad, must be true. But then I thought about my state of mind, and it is different than when I was on the Clomid. Then, I felt like I was grasping at straws, and I didn't feel like anything I did made things better. I felt out of control of the whole thing, and that made me more miserable.
To decide to do IVF is not a light decision to make. There is a whole process of grieving, of releasing the control, of realizing that this time, its not going to be "natural" and that the storybook moment is not going to happen. For me, as a person of faith, I had to come to terms with this not necessarily being me "forcing God's hand" because in the end, it is still up to Him. And through that process I think I was able to release some of those "demons" that would make me lose myself in hysterics. I have come to peace with my condition and the facts that I cannot deny anymore. I have infertility, it is not my fault, and there is so much medical science can do for me, that there is no need to lose hope.

I am very hopeful that I will find peace, in the end. Praise be to my Merciful God.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lows and Highs during treatment

I went in for retrieval on Sunday, and to be honest I was pretty scared. I called my good friend who has been through this twice before, and she reassured me it wasn't a big deal. And as usual, she was right. The sedation was kinda nice, I woke up well and was a bit sore but not too bad. I took the day off for the most part and when I did have to get up and walk, I was kinda slow because I was sore, like strong menstrual cramps. In the end when I woke up my nurse said: We got four! I was so happy. Not only is it my lucky/favorite number, but it feels like good odds to me.
Then, as it usually goes with this kinda thing, there was the waiting. Monday was a bit rough, trying to keep myself off the internet (unsuccessfully) googling things like "3 day vs. 5 day transfer" and "bed rest after transfer?" A word of advice, avoid reading blogs and forums as much as you can for things like this because your doctor is going to know best. You will always find someone who was successful and not with any situation, 3 day, 5 day, bed rest, back to work... any of those. I need to trust my doctor and let him call the shots. What worked for me, may or may not work for you. This is one thing I have learned about IF treatment, the unique and sometimes frustrating thing about this condition, as is with other diseases, is that everyone's is going to be different because all of our bodies are different.
So I waited, impatiently for my phone call. All the while all of these "ifs" swam around my head: what if they aren't fertilizing, what if I don't end up with anything to transfer, what if I only have the one,... I really want all four to fertilize so I have some to freeze for the future, or if, God forbid, it fails.
Finally, I got the call from the embryology lab to tell me, all four are growing and I will be doing a 5 day transfer. I am sure there were more details but unfortunately I had a difficult time understand the kind man's Asian accent, so I kept repeating what he said to make sure I understood the key points. I was so happy that after I called my mom, tears just streamed down my face.... finally tears of joy. I know this doesn't guarantee success, but I feel like I finally have a fighting chance.... that this may happen! And if it doesn't happen Friday, I have the opportunity to try at least one more time. Now, its all in His hands and if that embryo is to grow and become my child, it is His decision.

After all, God is good. :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

End of Week 1 - Pincushion

I feel like a pincushion.

I am finishing up my first week of IVF treatment, and so far, not too bad. I am on what I think is an average-low dose of the injections. We added the Ganarelix yesterday. I have gone in about 4 times for bloodwork and ultrasounds. More than anything it has been a nightmare of dealing with the insurance company. I don't want to complain because I am grateful that they are covering most of it, really all of it as of right now, but its been pulling teeth to actually get the meds when I need them. I have had to pay out of pocket twice now for medication that I hadn't received that they covered. It was painful but I just keep reminding myself that this is all worth it and its small potatoes in the scheme of things. I will complain about the unwanted/needed stress the insurance is putting me through on something that is already very stressful. But I can also say that everyone I have dealt with, though not all competent, have been kind and understanding while I try my darnest not to let the hormones get the best of me and my mild temperament. 
I keep trying to remember who I am and the strength that God has given me and of how grateful I am for the ability to afford all of this when there are others that only wish they could.

I have my moments of sadness, anxiety, uneasiness about the meds, the procedure, the expectations I try not to have. I can't help it though, sometimes, I get excited, to think of what might be, then I try to bring myself back and not allow myself to start dreaming, making plans, because it isn't a sure thing and it is in God's hands, as it always has been. I get scared because I think of upcoming events and can't help but wonder what state will I be in? I know this is a terrible idea because I've done it before.

It was a friend's wedding, November 2011, we had started trying that May and I avoided buying a dress for the longest time, hoping, wishing, that I would need something loose, maybe even from the maternity section. Then the wedding came, and I went out the weekend before to buy a dress, and when I came home with the non-maternity dress, I cried. And at the wedding, this beautiful gorgeous wedding, it was in the back of my mind... this wasn't how this evening was supposed to go, I was supposed to be glowing, happy, coyly turning down alcoholic beverages.

So no, I can't do that to myself again. I can't think about the future, I can't give myself ideas of what may be in a month, in three month, in six.

I have stopped being angry, I automatically avoid situations, conversations, I don't have to think about it anymore, I am always on the defense. I try to enjoy the little things, the nature walks I love so much, the company of my furry pets, of my friends, of being spontaneous and just getting up and going somewhere, of being able to do the work I have a passion for. So instead I dream about the future of my career, of my field, what I can do in a few years when I go back to school, all of the possibilities that are out there for me, no matter what my situation. I am alive, and I have a life to live, a life to give back with, that is my purpose and that is what I can focus on right now.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

IVF Treatment Day 1

Today I started my injections for the IVF treatment. I am usually that person that reads all of the possible side effects and hyperventilates if I see "nausea and vomiting." But this time I was too concerned about my husband having to stick a needle in my arm that I didn't even bother looking at the side effects. But he did great. It hurt more when the medicine was going in than the needle prick but it passed quickly and after a little bit of tummy grumbling (which was probably mostly from the stress) I have been ok and its been about an hour.  All modesty aside, I feel pretty proud of us.

I was thinking about hope the other day. A lot of inspirational notes I have read say something about how who you are is more about how you get back up than it is about what pushed you down. It reminded me of the phoenix, it burns up, as hope seems to burn up and disappear month after month, but once I saw that positive LH surge, that phoenix, that hope, is reborn, and comes back to life, and lights up in my heart.  Right now, with the treatment and the hope of actually achieving fertilized embryos, of the possibility of life within me, of another heartbeat, it just fills my soul with such light. God, please... give me peace. 

On another note, I was surfing FB trying to stay distracted when I read a post from my best friend's husband commenting about her being in surgery and I freaked. She wrote to me the other day to say hi and asked how I was and I told her I was doing as best I could and had put it all in the hands of the Lord, but we never talked about her and I didn't even know she was getting knee surgery. I was so upset with myself. I felt like I was being so egotistical and self-centered that I didn't even bother to ask how she was and if she was ok. I sent her a message through the hubby and a private message apologizing for being self-centered.... its not enough as far as I am concerned and I feel terrible. I will pray for her recovery and try to wake up from this stupor that I feel I am in where the universe seems to revolve around my infertility and try to pay more attention to those who are always taking care of me.  R.G. I love you.