Saturday, January 31, 2009

Each Day Gets a Little Better

My friend Jill picked me up yesterday about 8:30 to head to Syracuse. I managed to make it through Thursday with very few tears. It helped that I was busy at work, even stayed a little later than usual.

My mom met us at the fertility guru's office, and as much as I hated saddling Jill with my mom alone, I really didn't want anyone to go back with me. I got undressed, and listened to how the procedure would go, my instructions for the weekend, and that I would need to come back in about 10 days for a follow-up appointment.

"At that point, if you're ready, we can talk about next steps. But you need to grieve, you need to mourn. This is a loss just like any other."

At that point I started to cry. Who was I kidding when I thought I was all cried out? The IV was in, I signed papers, I answered questions, and then FG came in with a hug. "I'm going to check...."

He pulled the screen around so I couldn't see, and put the ultrasound probe in. "Looks like it did the other day."

And that was that. My embryo was still dead. But soon, it would be out. And I could move on.

Even though I knew the embryo was no longer viable, since Tuesday, I still felt pregnant. All the symptoms, all the feelings. It was like a cruel joke. And amazingly, last night, just a suddenly, I didn't feel pregnant. No hunger around 8:30 while I was lying in bed, reading. No more sore breasts. Like a snap of the fingers, I wasn't pregnant.

I took it easy yesterday, napping, watching TV, pillow on my lap to try to alleviate the cramps. I think I was asleep before 9:00 last night. Today, I stayed busy. Bank, Wegmans, Salvation Army drop-off, post office -- all before 11:00.

I made soup today. And bread. I bought ingredients to make chicken wing dip tomorrow for the Super Bowl. I know I won't feel like going out to watch the game, so I'll stay in. My neighbors might drop in, but other than, it'll be a quiet game for me.

I talked to a couple friends today, and my niece and mom. All calling to check on me. I don't want to hear how strong I am. I don't think of myself as strong. What else am I going to do? I'm not going to quit, I'm not going to stay in bed all day. I'm getting up, I'm doing what I have to do, but I'm not strong.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Change of Plans

I had such high hopes for this post and the subsequent ones to come. I was going to start back up after the retrieval, talk in detail about:
* the three embryos being transferred into me the day before Christmas Eve
* my drive on Christmas Eve (intended destination Richmond)
* the wintry mix all the way through Pennsylvania when I finally had enough and checked into a hotel about 30 miles north of Harrisburg
* how, about 3:30, I was sick on being in the hotel room and decided I had had enough, for the second time that day
* I drove as far as Baltimore and went to midnight mass at the Cathedral with Bubbles, lighting a novena, praying to Mary, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Thomas More for the three precious little lives inside of me
* how that night, that warm balmy night in Baltimore, I made a new-year's resolution to go back to church, and once and for all to be done with J of Baltimore in any way other than friendship
* it was 60 and sunny when I drove to Richmond the next day
* there was fun day after Christmas shopping, out the door at 5:30am
* and then, how on January 2, less than an hour after I mailed the first part of my adoption paperwork out, my hCG levels were 130.

I didn't tell anyone. I kept it to myself, having learned my lesson last time. But I was encouraged by the high number (last time my first test was 47). And then three days later, it was 460. No more blood tests....just wait for January 20 for my first pre-natal ultrasound.

I was terrified going for it. I imagined the worst. I imagined laying on the table, probe inside me, and seeing nothing. And then having to deal with the drive home, 60 miles from Syracuse to Ithaca, knowing that the excitement of the past two weeks was nothing.

And you know what happened? I saw my baby's heartbeat. I found out my due date. And exactly how far along I was. And all the burping, and the bloating, and the gas, and the sore breasts....all normal, all worth it.

I took a picture of the embryo with me, and thought about all the things I'd collected since the day before Christmas Eve that would go in the scrapbook. And I got back to Ithaca just in time to see Barack Obama take the oath of office. And how inspiring. This man is going to be my baby's first president. What a wonderful year to have a baby. So much for our country, for me, for my little family.

And even more hope, later that afternoon when the doctor's office called to tell me that my hCG levels were over 31,500. And so I started to feel safe. I was doing everything right. Prenatal vitamins, baby aspirin every morning, progesterone suppositories four times a day, estrogen pills twice a day...and really good blood levels. I needed to relax and just enjoy this now.

I felt none of the trepidation yesterday as I made my trek to Syracuse for my seven-week ultrasound. I had my list of questions -- which I refused to make last week because I was convinced something would be wrong and I wouldn't need the answers anyway.

And then, there I was laying on the table, probe inside me. And I saw the embryo, starting to look a little bit more human. And what I didn't see -- and what I knew before the tech's face gave it away -- there was no heart beat. She changed the size of my uterus on screen, she changed angles. She told me to breath and then she went to get the doctor.

But I knew. It was just as I had imagined it would be the week before. Fertility Guru came in, held my hands and started talking to me about being positive, how this was nature's way of fixing things, that I did nothing wrong, that I could have done nothing to prevent this. He did his own look, but it was just going through the motions. We all knew. The embryo -- not baby yet -- had stopped growing at six weeks four days. Technically, I was seven weeks three days.

Then there were decisions to be made. A D&C or wait for it to expel itself in about three or four weeks. In my mind, there was no choice. I want it out of me. And so Friday, I will go in for a D&C. After that, I'm not sure what happens with my body. How long I have to wait for my period, how long before we can start all over again.

I thought I was done with the shots. Done with the almost daily trips for follicle checks and lab work. Done waiting for my body to do its thing so we could schedule retrieval and transfer.

I went back to the office yesterday afternoon. I didn't know what else to do. And this morning when I woke up....what's the right thing to do? There's no manual for how to react. I went to work. I was useless. I cried a lot, and finally left at noon.

I don't know if I can cry anymore. I feel like I can't, but I'm sure there will be more tears to come over the weekend. I purposely didn't shop for maternity clothes, I purposely by-passed the children's department at Kohl's. Too early, I kept telling myself.

And even though those in the know in my family kept asking when I was going to tell the rest, I refused to budge. Too early. And now, it's too late.

Now, it's over. For now. I get a few more chances. I have about $9500 left on my fertility insurance coverage. I've spent just a little over half of my cap. So two, maybe three chances left. Not one. I'm not down to the end yet.

I'm going to take a shower and try to get a good night's sleep. I'll wake up and try going to work tomorrow. I'll be busy, I'll be preparing for missing Friday. And I won't think past tomorrow at this point. There will be plenty of time over the weekend to do that.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm Back

Sorry to worry some of my loyal readers. I've needed to do things differently this time. I'm superstitious -- I'm a baseball girl, what can I say. But I have been thinking about starting up again. Mostly when I'm listening to my relaxation and imagery CD's -- the exact time that my mind should be totally blank is usually when I have all sorts of thoughts of things I need to do and wish I had a pad and pen to write it all down.

Clownface sent me a very sweet note this morning, wondering if all was okay. It was the nudge I needed. Just as blogging two or three times a week had become a comfortable habit, so too did not blogging.

I will start where I left off -- anyone up for revisiting Christmas? -- and by the time I catch up, hopefully it will be time for an announcement.

I may not write too much about the visits to the Fertility Guru, but I do have lots to fill you all in, particularly a nice run-in with someone I went to school with, 4th through 12th grades, more on J of Baltimore (lots to update there), and the usual bitching about my family.

So happy Tuesday....we'll start with the week of Christmas tonight or tomorrow.

Until then....go Steelers!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Radio Silence

I'll be back soon. I promise.