There is No Solace in Infertility

No peace.  No solace. None.

We did the IUI.  It was as good a picture as we could have hoped for.  10.1 million sperm post wash, my great follicles, and all of that.  The next week we did a blood test to see if I ovulated. And I did!!

I’m not supposed to test until the tomorrow.  But I had a low dose of the hcg and it was well out of my system.  So I tested with the uber sensitive early response test last night.  Yea, I held my pee for hours so I’d have a good sample.

BFN.

Big Fat Negative.

I’m going to test again in the morning to be sure. You, know, following protocol.

But I’m pretty sure that this round was a bust.  A waste of 400 bucks.

So I wasn’t going to cry, I mean we knew it was a long shot at best.  But I did.  I cried those ugly cries, and my dear sweet husband held me and comforted me.

I’m still pretty down this morning. I’m right exhausted to be honest.

I want to be a mommy, but I’m ready for this bullshit to be over.  I’m ready to move on and heal and no longer hurt like this.  I’m ready for closure.  But we have to do this again.  I have to know there is 100% no hope what so ever.

God bless it, I’m so tired.

 

It’s Been A While…

So a medication change, stress, and the general hell that is infertility finally took its toll.  I was sent to counseling by work and now I’m taking medication to even me out.

Yup.  A shrink and happy pills.

They did drop that beta blocker that caused me to have issues. So there is that. That I think did more to help than anything. It made me all kinds of crazy.

I’m in a much better place now.  We have had to delay even thinking about an IUI because of the hubby’s med change AND he had the flu.

So here we are, its June.  About a year from the time we found out the hubby had issues too. You could fill a tanker truck with the tears I’ve cried this year.

So tomorrow we do the IUI.  I had a follicle scan yesterday and I have two beautiful follicles (one on each ovary)  and my uterine lining is really good.  So one thing is good.  We will know for 100% next week if I ovulated for sure and those lovelies weren’t cysts.  But the femara seems to have worked, and I took the Hcg shot last night.  Its just a waiting game now.  Hopefully the sample my dear hubby provides will have enough, and hopefully those little guys will find eggies, and hopefully they will make an embryo that implants perfectly, and hopefully that baby will grow and be healthy and wonderful and I’ll have an easy pregnancy that’s healthy and an easy healthy delivery and a happy healthy baby….

Lots of hope bleeding through the darkness.  Lots can still go wrong, horribly wrong.  My councilor said I needed to let myself hope.  I had already started a secret board on pintrest with pregnancy announcements.  The hubby said not to get my hopes up yet.

I drempt last night that the IUI didn’t work.  I also remember in the dream a tuxedo cat we had named Clouseau.  Last night Ares curled up to my belly where I had to do the injection.  It was too sweet. He is my healing kitty.  I don’t know if that means much, but maybe he knows.

So there’s the update.  It’s not much, but maybe it is everything.

 

(Oh, and don’t tell anyone we aren’t making this known to family until the cycle is complete)

 

 

Waste of Money?

So after insurance the IUI is going to cost about 550, or so depending on meds.  We can’t really afford it. But we are going to put it on the credit card.  One try.

They said the hubby’s count was still low, but the motility was better so why not give it a go?

Without his issue my chances (at my age) with meds is around 7% success on any given cycle.  With just his issue, (assuming a 9 million count post wash) is around 5%.  Lets combine both and we are talking, realistically, somewhere around less than 1%.

I’m not feeling it.  I mean lets be honest, those kinds of chances don’t warrant me spending a dime.  I’m not a gambler. And its really a good bit of money. Like two weeks pay.

But if I don’t do it we’ll never have closure. And if it fails, well, I get to grieve it and move on. Or so they tell me.

But what if we spend a couple thousand and then we get a success?  How would we afford the things we’d need for the baby with the debt? What if I lost my job? I know I know, what if the sky fell.  But I have to think about this kind of thing.

And then there is the spending of money we don’t have with low odds.  Less than 1% for a pregnancy, not a take home baby.  I don’t want to even think about the odds there. Let’s not even mention that again…

$550.  Almost a paycheck.  Almost a house payment. Almost a baby.

Almost.

But not quite. 1% (I rounded up for happiness sake) chance. I could be that 1%.  I DO win contests sometimes. It’s possible. It’s just not probable at my age with the conditions we are facing.

Sometimes I talk myself out of a baby. I tell myself I’m too selfish or too mean or too ugly or too, something, to have a kid.  That I’d be the worst mom ever.  Sometimes, like today, that 1% seems like 100% and I just imagine cuddling with a newborn, and watching my toddler scamper about, and looking at a kiddo that’s half me and half my darling husband.

Then the tears come. And I remember that one chance in 100 isn’t very much. I close my eyes and for a moment I don’t think about 1 in 100. For a moment I’m a mom and I’m holding a sweet baby of mine, and about to explode from the love. I imagine the moment we tell everyone, and I imagine the nursery, and I imagine motherhood. Then I open my eyes, wet from my tears, and I remember that the odds are not in our favor, and chances are I’ll be on my deathbed telling some snarky nurse my greatest regret was that I’d never had a family.  That we couldn’t afford IVF, that adoption was too risky and expensive, and that we walked away and that I never recovered.

Then the anger at God wells up inside, and I fight it like St. George did the dragon.  I’m so pissed that God decided I didn’t need to be a mom, but that a F-ing crack head gets to have six.  Or someone that abuses their child gets to have several, and I, the one who really would be a great parent, gets nothing.

Life isn’t fair.  I get that.

Then I look at my bank account and decide one IUI on the credit card won’t break us. It will take several months to pay off, but one chance in 100 is better than none, and I decide to spend the money on the off chance this was all some kind of joke. Maybe we will try in April. Maybe in March.  I don’t know.

I DO know that infertility sucks and no one deserves to go through it. Ever.

Thanks For The Reminder

Sarcasm is hard to translate to print.  So know that the title is sarcastic.

Also know that I know the person I’m talking about meant well, and I’m in no way angry at her or anything like that. But even those that mean well sometimes manage to cut your heart out and squish it on the floor. Even if their intent was good.

Today was a squished heart day.

I talked to a co worker today about an incident where another co worker hurt my already tender feelings. It wasn’t a big deal, but I needed to get it out of my system.  I followed the story with “I know it shouldn’t have hurt my feelings, but right now I’m emotionally compromised and somethings bother me more than they should.” We talked for a moment about my situation.

And gently “Sam” asked me if I’d had the speech about older mothers and what risks are involved. I told her I was well aware of the special needs possibilities because I have a degree in it…  I thought the conversation would end there, but it went on…

Reminders of how I wouldn’t be able to work.  Reminders of the care and expense a special needs child will be, the reminders of all of the horror stories I have seen when I worked with special needs.

I didn’t need that today. I needed a hug and a prayer and a cup of tea.

 

In a few days we will have a better handle on if this journey is over or if we have more to endure.  I’m literally not strong enough for this.  I can not imagine how this is going to go, because I dare not hope anymore.  I’m ready for closure and peace.

I just want to curl up under my desk, away from the light, in a ball and cry. Just cry.  All of the money we might have had to use on treatments is gone now as the hubby has messed up his knee, his car is fried, and I have a fridge and dryer acting up. Life gets in the way every time we have a sniff of a chance at paying for IUI or anything for that matter.

I just want to cry and cry and cry.

I feel myself sliding into a dark place and I’m sure there is no way out. Its a place I have been in before, and the reminders of all of the things I fear most seem like lubricant on the slide.

Like my Dr said, there is no medication in the world that can help you grieve this.  You just have to do it and thats that.

 

 

Days. Good and Bad.

Some days are good days.  Some days are bad.  Some start out one way and end another.

Today has been a bad day.  I’ve cried at my desk, I’ve felt depressed, I’ve longed to go home to suffocate myself in the grief that I’m forced to bear peacefully (remember everyone tells me others have problems too)…

I’m tired.  I’m tired of the glimmers of hope that are but fireflies in the night, not the sun shining on a new day.  I don’t know how people do this for years. I’ve been here for about 18 months and the pain is excruciating.
I can’t figure out how to have more good days.  I can’t figure out how to get past this. Will I be okay once they tell us there is nothing else we can do? Will we waste money on nothing? Are we fools for even hoping?
I’m sick and angry over the fact that we can’t even try IVF because of the money. One rounds worth of payments would be more than a car payment, for seven years.
That’s what gets to me as much as anything.  We work, we have decent jobs and STILL can’t afford the medical care required for us to have kids. 
Not much else can be said today except it’s a bad day.

A Crisis No One Acknowledges

In my 38+ years I have experienced a few times when I am in a genuine crisis.  Not the “I need your attention my car won’t start Facebook Post” kind, but the life altering, world changing kind.  The kind that you aren’t sure how you are going to make it, and when you do, you are never the same again.

The first one was when my mom had cancer the first time. I bore it quietly.  I became enamored with spending money to feel better, and between my uninsured self running up my credit card on medical bills and my need to buy myself into peace, I wound up in a debt that took years to pay off.  It was my secret, and I never told anyone. When things got better, I realized the “shop to feel better” thing was a thing and I had done this with little or no thought.  I also realized it was simply not helpful.

The second one changed me forever.  It lasted a long time, I didn’t “buy” myself out of it, but I tried to hide.  Momma was sick with a bone infection, my dad and I weren’t getting along and my CPT at work was abusive. This went on for months and months and months.  I had no real place to find peace. I was on the verge of an honest to God nervous breakdown.  I turned to family for help and was told no one could to suck it up. I turned to the boyfriend at the time, and he pushed me away.  I talked to the preacher, and it helped, but I was in crisis for a long time.  A real crisis.  Then my grandmother died, and momma fell and dad was in the hospital.  Something inside broke.  Even writing about it makes me antsy and upset.  It all came to a head at work, and then a few short months later that boyfriend made tracks.  (that worked out for the best, but still at the time it was horrid)  This lead to me meeting my husband. Things settled into a little peace.

The third crisis was my new husband’s father passing a few weeks after the wedding. This was followed by my husband being laid off for 5 weeks and me running the worst call of my career.  Two toddlers and their mom killed in a horrible accident.  It was gruesome and hard.  Then a few days later, Meniere’s Disease reared its ugly head and my first wedding anniversary was my last day as a firefighter.  It was literally over just like that.   We struggled as we found out Momma had cancer again and then with her passing a year to the minute of that first vertigo attack.  How could I turn to family that was already in the throws of grief? I was unemployed, I got a kitten, she almost died.  I bore it. I talked to my husband, I talked to my dad some, I learned to quilt.  Things eventually died down with “mini crisis” alerts along the way. Like a storm, the thunder eventually faded, and the rain eventually stopped.

This crisis is different and yet still the same. We are both diagnosed with one kind of infertility or another. Both. Our dream of having kids is fading with each passing day and each poor test report from the doctor. My dad isn’t supportive of me having children because he is concerned for my well-being.  My boss thinks I’m not healthy enough (I’m fat not in peril people). My older sister is struggling with a loss as is her daughter.  My younger sister turns every conversation about this away from my fear and concerns to one of (or both) arenas “pray about it, if you have faith God will fix it” or “You aren’t the only one with problems, you need to realize that”.   Sometimes I get the “I’m getting old too and I want another child and now you’ve upset me with your struggle”…  I’m not blind to her struggle please understand that.  I turned to them for support as I am in a full blown crisis. My entire world is resting on the outcomes of this test or that, and I can not even begin to heal or make plans until that next test tells us where we are.  My need for help, support and just a shoulder to cry on is met with the attitude that my crisis isn’t worthy of their attention, or worse, my crisis isn’t important enough to even warrant my being upset of scared.  I NEED help.  I NEED support.  I NEED someone who will recognize that infertility is a massive crisis and that it IS important to me, not counter it with other’s issues and down play the hell I am living right now.  I have gotten worse responses.  Things like “don’t eat gravy or cheese” or “if you have enough faith God will fix this” or “just hang out at abortion clinics and beg women for their babies”….  I shit you not.

I need to know my family is there to catch us when we fall. Clearly for me that isn’t the case.  I’m falling and falling with no one to do much more than tell me that the parachute they have isn’t meant for me, its for someone else.

I get pissed too.  SO pissed when I hear all this talk of “baby number 2 one of these days” that I want to slap the hell out of that person.  I say “you have your son, enjoy that blessing” which is turned on me as if I meant it as some hurtful thing to push guilt off on them.  My intent is to focus them on what they DO have, not remind me that they want another one and that it might not happen.  I KNOW I’ll never have two. I will most likely never have one.

I’m so sad and angry.  I’m so upset that in this crisis, no one can stop long enough to validate my suffering.  I’m pretty focused on my issue right now because it is such a massive issue. I haven’t turned anyone away when they come to me, or turned their crisis into some selfish rant about myself, nor have I told them to get off their pitty pot or pray harder or anything else.  I have listened and I have been supportive and I have given what little I have left to be there for them.  Now that the cup is empty, no one seems to want to see that I’m all given out. All given out. I’ve nothing left.

I’m empty, I’ve nothing left to give and nothing left for myself. That’s the reality of having a poor support system outside the crisis.

 

 

The Year Without A Christmas

This time last year we were talking about the baby we figured we’d have by now. Clearly that was given up back in June when the infertility issues became ours and not just mine.
So we trudged along to this year, ready to surprise everyone with hand made gifts and fun. 
And lo, I got a stomach bug. I spent Christmas either asleep or being sick.  My wonderful family was kind enough to send videos of everything going on via text.  Our unopened gifts sit at my dad’s house waiting our arrival. 
The thing is, I still feel like crap.  I’m pretty sure he is going to waive us off until New Year. 
I missed Christmas essentially. No packages, no turkey, no cranberries or custard.  Just ginger ale and broth.
Talk about insult to injury.  This time last year I fully expected a “first Christmas”, now we are talking about how the hell we are going to afford IUI, and IF (huge if) we can even get there.  It’s that dire. 
Merry Christmas to me. The Christmas that wasn’t meant to be.