::pack:: of fixations



life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.

6.01.2011

Infertility

This subject is total taboo to some.  If you've never been through it but, have had some one close to you who has been through it then you may or may not understand what this is like.  It's really hard to be put in this place if you haven't actually been there.  There's different reasons why people can't get pregnant.  I heard once that it's 33% the women's problem 33% the men's and 33% a complete mystery.  Ours was my body and this is my story.


I can't speak for everyone but, I can say that most women that are open enough to talk about it pretty much all have had a similar experience.  I think it's a much darker place if you haven't had any children yet.  I clearly have two healthy boys now.  Biological boys that really look like us.  I spent many minutes of my life dreaming of being where I am now.  I spent many seconds crying (and trying not to cry) and wanting to be where I am now.


So, I struggled with infertility.  It was the darkest place I've ever, ever, ever, ever been.  I also live/worked in the world mecca for pregnant people, newborns, and kids.  Where I worked the pregnant people would come a walking around all the time... I would try so hard not to glare, not to cry...  every time I saw one.  Did they know how lucky they were?  Some would be pregnant and pushing strollers.  Some were pregnant and complain to me about being pregnant.  I thought they were beautiful, all of them.  I always wanted to tell them what I would give to be them, to be swollen, fat, sick, tired, back aching, baby kicking all night long, anything...  


I also know that most have NO IDEA unless you've been through it.  "Well, would you ever adopt?" they'd say when you got the guts to tell them.  They with their regular cycles and bouncing babies and trying to decide what preschool to put their 3 year old into soon.  They who have never adopted or really considered adopting themselves.  Don't ask the adoption question.... EVER!  The answer is most likely yes... but for us to actually open up to you about this is taking everything we have to not break down and bawl for days.  Like, harder than you've ever tried in your whole life and as wrong as it sounds that's the absolute coldest, the absolute worst thing you could ask.  It's nothing at all against adoption but, when you (me, remember this is my story) are lucky enough to have an absolutely beautiful husband and marriage, as a woman you are living in complete punishment, complete guilt, complete despair... you can't have his baby.  It's the scariest feeling. It's what you are meant to do and what you are made to do.  And it's not only having his baby it's being pregnant, being sick, bloated, fat, and giving birth to your babies.  I know adoption IS BEAUTIFUL and there is a good chance we will adopt still at the tail-end of our family.  Also, just because some one can't get pregnant doesn't mean we want to hold all babies!  I'm sure some women want to hold babies when they are dying for their own.  But, in my case I never wanted to hold any babies.  I went to visit a family member who'd just had a baby (bold move, too bold) and the moment I walked in the door she handed that precious baby to me.  She was trying to help me, it was really nice and I appreciate and understand what she was trying to do.  Give me medicine.  Silently saying, "here hold my baby, maybe it will help hold you over for a while".  Oh, I held that sweet smelling bundle of joy but, all I wanted to do was give her back and run far away.  The whole time I sat there I had to hold back the tears and pretend that I was happy and content holding somebody else's everything when all I wanted is my very own everything and realizing the reality of my fear that was actually in my arms.  And go on pretending everyday that I was 'okay', when I was a complete mess.


I've always had the instinct that getting pregnant would be a challenge since at least ninth grade or so.  I just never knew it would be quite expensive and quite so devastating.  


I got pregnant in the Fall of 2004.  I have really irregular cycles and my breasts hurt and they normally never hurt.  I took a test after about 5-6 weeks that said positive.  I was in shock, and when I told Ryan I don't think I've ever seen him so happy.  I remember we went to his work Christmas party the next day and he kept telling me it took all he had not to announce it to everyone.  That made me get excited that it made him so happy.  My Mom cried when I told her... I think she always knew I'd struggle too.  I remember it took about 6 weeks to get into the Dr to get an ultrasound and we saw the heartbeat and they told me that it was a good sign and I was 6 weeks pregnant.  RED FLAG... how was I 6 weeks pregnant if it took 6 weeks to get in?  I had symptoms and took the test and was probably at least 4 weeks post conception?  I scheduled my next check-up cried a lot cause I had a gut feeling something was wrong.  The doc did an ultrasound to see once and for all what was going on and no heartbeat.  I know I was 14 weeks at that time cause, trust me I take a lot of preg tests and I know when it's positive or not.  I got a D & C, but at least I got pregnant right?  That was such a good sign.  I would jump right back on the horse (no pun intended) and have us a baby in no time.  Well, seconds turned into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days turned into months, and months turned into years....literally.  I couldn't get over the miscarriage.  I wanted to be pregnant soooo bad I would poke my breasts so much to see if they hurt, that they would hurt.  I would psyche myself out so much that I had to be pregnant I think I have morning sickness!... and I would throw up.  The list goes on.  The obsession never went away.  


I remember people telling me they were pregnant and telling me that I was the one person they put off and dreaded telling.  Truthfully, I would almost always cry about it.... and DREADED seeing them show in the beginning.  After a few years I learned that it was good, and you always thought it was good, you just wanted it so bad yourself that it hurt, it hurt really really bad.   I never got pregnant on my own for years which basically felt like decades living in Utah County and working at Nordstrom.  We refinanced our home to do IVF.  I remember calling in January and not getting in until August to start the 3 month or so round of shots, meds, and everything else that came.  


I remember before the egg retrieval my ovaries got so big they were touching and they looked like bunches of grapes on the u/s screen.  I could barely walk cause it felt like I had to pee (like being ten months pregnant).  Ry used the wrong needle to give me the ovulation hormone shot (the needle you use to extract out of the vial to mix w/the water).  We were both dying on how thick and big it was, it wouldn't go in.  It hurt soooo bad and I limped for weeks and was bruised so bad (so funny).  They extracted twenty eight healthy eggs!  I have twenty eight chances I thought.  Then only 14 fertilized, something like nine or ten survived the three days after and we put two in.  


They told me that it was basically not going to work five minutes before putting those precious embryos in.  My uterine lining was way to thin for them to implant.  "Have I had a D&C before?" they asked, "because the Dr. probably took to much of my lining out and I would probably never be able to get pregnant".


I started crying.  I cried in front of all the specialists, Dr's, nurses, assistants, my Mom, and Ry.  I cried as they placed those precious embryos inside of my uterus with the thin lining.  You don't know until you go through it that after paying 10-30K to do all of this that, you get to lay there a mere ten minutes for those embryos to implant.  If you are going through this you are basically willing to lay for the rest of your life and be carried out by an ambulance on a stretcher.  But, you have to stand up after ten measly minutes and squeeze your thighs together hoping it will help the precious baby you long for to stick to your uterine lining however thick it is.  Well, as my story goes by day 4 I knew I wasn't pregnant and I was right.  You get your first blood test on day ten I think (and you don't get told squat), and then three days later you get another test and they call you.  Of course I got my blood taken the minute the lab opened and I ended up calling them at 1pm because I had to know.


Out of the 7 or 8 embryos I had left only 5 were well enough to freeze.  3 of them survived the defrosting process and only 2 were worth putting in.  My lining was normal this time somehow and I was given a 20% chance per embryo.  We were pregnant!  I took a dollar store test at 5am the 2nd blood test day and got a light positive.  We just knew it was twins.  Well, it was just my Finn and the most happiest day of my life.  


I can honestly say that every time I was sick, puked, felt fat, and swelled up it made me happy all over again.  Ever since I became pregnant with Finn the darkness has been gone.  I can only remember how it felt if I try.  But, it's funny, everytime I see or hear about some one whether it be on Oprah, a friends neighbor, or a complete stranger the tears there's no stopping them.  I remember.  That dark pain I can always remember and feel it with them.


I now know that I am low on Progesterone naturally and synthetic hormones are toxic to me.  I find it funny how most doctors won't test you for it and most won't even prescribe it even though too much can't hurt you.  When you do IVF you start taking low dose aspirin even before treatment begins and after the embryo transfer you begin Progesterone even though they don't know if you've conceived or not?!?  I don't necessarily believe that these doctors who won't test you are evil I just don't think they understand that 'dark pain'... not unless they've been there.


This is the experimental plan I came up with and got pregnant with my Colum in less than three months:


I took bio-identical Progesterone everyday until I started my cycle which is Day 1.  Then stopped taking Progesterone and counted to day 14 and then started taking it everyday until day 1....then stopped.  When I found out I was pregnant I started taking low dose aspirin and continued the Progesterone through the first trimester.  It worked and I had my 2nd baby.  Also, I was taking the bio-identical Progesterone the very 1st time I was pregnant but stopped everything 'cause I thought it could be bad.


This has worked for a friend of mine as well who was in her forties and tried for 7 years.  She got pregnant during month 2 and had a baby boy a few months ago yet she has regular cycles.  I'm sure it doesn't work for everyone but Progesterone is nicknamed the pregnancy hormone so it's worth giving it a shot and can't hurt.

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