Once an infertile always an infertile?
I found coming up with a name for this blog tricky. Finding A Way Out Of IF seemed like a fit because it was what I was trying to do, on a couple of different levels. At the time, my main goal in life was to get out of infertility. As in have a baby or two, then tell infertility to f-off, close the door on it and never look back. I also wanted to stop living in the teeter-totter of infertile life of 'what if' start living in the more now.
What occurs to me now, is that even if I'm lucky enough to end up with a real, live baby after all of this, I'm still going to be majorly infertile. There won't be a way out of IF for us. With our types of infertility (DOR & severe male factor), our diagnoses are not going to get better. I am always going to be infertile.
Emotionally, I feel like I'm always going to be infertile too. During a heart to heart with the woman who donated her embryos to us, I told her that a few years ago. At that time, I was mourning that I would probably never go to a baby shower and feel happy, or be able to casually talk about pregnancy in a way that other fertiles do. She had been through hell to get her family; 5 years of treatments, 7+ surgeries, 5 miscarriages, and ultimately had her children through adoption and surrogacy. She told me that the burden would become lighter. That she never thought it would either, but it happens, there will be days and weeks that pass that you don't think about it.
I hold on to the hope that I may get to that place that she describes. Right now, I feel like the heartache of the last 6 years isn't something that is going to leave me easily. While I hope to always sensitive to other's people's feelings, and remember to count my blessings, I could really do without the daily reminders of our infertility.
I can see a small fraction of this burden lifting lately, and it's been giving me hope. I can look at baby things and pregnant mothers, and hear stories about friend's children without wanting to burst into tears. It's a start, and I'm grateful for this little bit of relief.
Controlling how I think of the 'what ifs' has not been my strong suit. I'm a worrier, and so is hubby. And right now, even as we are letting ourselves imagine the possibility that we're pregnant, that we could be on our way to a real live baby, we're caught deeply again in this trap. I need to do a lot more work on this one.
I've been hung up on thinking about the what ifs of this pregnancy and the possibility of miscarriage. How would we handle it...again? I've been trying not to let myself slip into the what ifs of still birth and infant loss, but with the loss of our friend's child that sneaks into my mind too. I'm ready for this part of the infertility burden to lighten too.
[By the way - Thank you very much by the way for the resource suggestions for my grieving friend. I've passed some websites etc. on to them. I'm hoping that they will be a little help to them during this difficult time.]
Tomorrow, I'm having another ultrasound. It will be at my satellite clinic. My anxiety is definitely rising thinking about this appointment, but I'm hoping it will all go smoothly. Another positive result will be a huge step for us.
Rolling around in the back of my mind however, is something I remembered that the ultrasound tech said last week. She told me the embryo was measuring 5 weeks -something. I didn't think much of it because a) There was a lot going on and I was trying to keep from fully losing my composure and b) I thought it was maybe because of the the 2 weeks that get added onto gestation from the beginning of the cycle. (It's still weird to me to consider someone 8 weeks pregnant when it's only been six weeks since the embryo was made. But, I digress).
When I visited with Dr. Highrisk, after the ultrasound, he reviewed the notes, the day of our transfer and we told him it was a 5 day old embryo. He said everything looked good, and on schedule. That the amount of amniotic fluid looked good. What he said put my mind at ease, that day. However recently, my nurse said she was confused by what she had been sent by the doctor's office. Why she didn't tell me this right away, I don't know?!? But she said that the measurements seemed weird to her (my words, not hers), and she reminded me to tell them the day of the embryo transfer and that it was a day 5 embryo, (which I had done) that otherwise the dating would be way off.
Calming my mind a little bit on the subject, is the fact that the baby would have been slightly bigger than a grain of rice at that ultrasound. And that the ultrasound machine being used was ancient. This is also why tomorrow's ultrasound will bring clarity. Hopefully it will calm this infertile brain just a little more.
Something else also is annoying me. While trying to be on top of things, I emailed my nurse and I told her I needed to order more meds. I sent her a list of what I had left. Because of the weaning process I am not sure of how much more I will need. I don't know the plan yet, despite asking for more information twice. She answers me, but not in the detail that I would like. Her response to me was to wait until the next ultrasound and we would go from there.
My anxious brain says; "Why? Because there's something more seriously wrong with the measurements from my last ultrasound and you aren't telling me because you don't want me to worry? Too late. Is it because you don't want me to waste money on more meds? Or are you going to wean me that quickly that I don't need hardly any more? I sure hope not. Sh*t". Then it says, "You'd be able to use those meds anyways for your next transfer if this doesn't work out, just order them" and "Sometimes I hate being in my own brain".
I examined my stock of meds, in more detail and I believe that the CCRM nurse messed up. This is because I think she was not considering that I can not just go get more meds at the drop of a hat. I use an online pharmacy and get the meds delivered to my clinic (it's a long story, but I can't easily get them delivered to my home). Given that it takes the meds two days to ship and then the clinic would be closed for the weekend, I would be out of one med by mid-Sunday if my doses stayed the same. I know my meds aren't likely going to stay the same, but I have no idea of how much they are going to change either. I don't like cutting things that close. Anxiety girl does not need any more reasons to be anxious than what she already has.
To fix the problem, I emailed my satellite nurse and asked her if she had any samples that I could borrow or have from her supply that I could pick up tomorrow? I could replace them from my next order if needed. She thankfully responded quickly that she'll give me a box. Ah. Relief.
Talking about pregnancy
Finally, I do feel some hesitation about writing here about any pregnancy related updates despite how supportive you have all been. I know you are all adults who can control what you consume. I want those of you who are struggling to get and stay pregnant to know that I think of you often, and especially as I write updates about being pregnant.
I want to remember this pregnancy and to continue to be real about what I'm feeling in my little corner of the internet. So, I'm going to continue to write about what's on my mind. I hope that you find the strength to look away if you're not in a good place to read about it. I will try to give my posts titles that will help you to decide to read or not.
I guess that is my disclaimer for the future. I suppose I'm trying to give myself permission to continue to write things here and not feel guilty about it.
Here's how I feel today, at 8 weeks, 2 days pregnant.
- Anxious brain. Check, check, and check.
- Fatigue, check. But less so. When it hits, it comes on strong. I feel like I could take a nap on the curb at the grocery store if I had a pillow and the urge hit me.
- My breasts are slightly tender, but nothing major.
- I am noticing a correlation between when I would normally start to feel hungry and when I start to feel repulsed by food. When this happens, if I eat something right away it usually makes the feeling pass. Today I discovered that a sucking on a hard candy helps. I'm going to be getting a stash of candies. I'm thankful I haven't barfed at all.
- Normally, I love fresh foods and spending time in the kitchen. I usually prefer the taste of less processed foods, and I enjoy putting the effort to prepare them. It is strange to me that my appetite is way down and fresh foods are sometimes tasting rotten to me. It's weird, even the freshest fruit or veggies can have an off flavour to me. I think this is why I'm craving more processed foods. They always taste the same. They don't ever taste rotten. It's not exactly how I hoped to eat if I was pregnant. At least my morning smoothie is still going down, that I make with with spinach, frozen fruit and greek yogurt.
- I think I generally look the same, and I weigh the same. Wearing pants that are tighter around my waist bothers me more than it ever did, but I don't think it's because my stomach has grown. It's more like a sensitivity. Yoga pants, tights and long tops have been my friend all winter and will continue to be.