Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pretending to be the me I wish I was, or how I'm going to fake it for money

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and no time is more desperate than now!

I'm a graphic designer by trade. The company I work for has other ventures besides the division I work in (government contracting). They recently opened up a large daycare, and more recently they have opened an ultrasound facility.

Odd, right? Well, yes. However, they are in the business of making money, and there are no free-standing ultrasound clinics in my area. Your only options for 3d/4d ultrasounds are at your OBGYN or the hospital, and I'm not entirely sure how many of those actually offer it. So, I'm sure the business will thrive.

They have asked a co-worker of mine to film and produce a video promoting the clinic for use on their website. The have asked him to do this after his normal work hours, and they will pay him overtime. He met with the owner of the company last night, and asked for help from myself and another co-worker.

Yay for overtime, right?! I rarely get overtime (ok, never), so I'm pretty excited!

But...

They want me to be a model in the video. And it's for a 3d/4d ultrasound place... so, yeah. I'm going to be pretending to be the me that I wish I was. The pregnant me.

I'm stooping to a whole new level of prostitution. Whoring out my emotions for time-and-a-half.

I know it's going to be hard. Maybe it will be the hardest thing I've ever done. Keeping my shit together in front of several male coworkers, plus strangers that work at the ultrasound facility... well, that will indeed be difficult.

Perhaps I can pass those tears of self-pity off for tears of joy in the video? Nothing like putting some pressure on myself.

I should probably start practicing now. Practicing looking happy while starting at a screen that is supposedly an image of the baby in my belly. Or maybe winging it is a better idea. I might actually just try to forget about the whole thing until the day of... just to unclog my brain.

Wish me luck. I will definitely need it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

and I'll find strength in pain

As infertiles, we are faced with so many choices. Which RE to choose? Which drugs to take this cycle? To BD or not to BD? To POAS or not? Take a break cycle or no? Chart our BBT or no? Do we confide in others and tell them of our struggles, or suffer silently?

But the most fundamental of our choices is deciding whether or not to continue fighting. To give up, throw in the towel. Or keep on standing after each fall.

It's a tough choice at times. It gets tougher after a failed cycle, or bad test results, or a plethora of other circumstances. It typically never gets to be an easier decision, unfortunately.

Have I felt like giving up in the past? Hell yes. I've tried to picture Buster and I living a child-free life. Could we do it? Yes. Do we want to? Obviously not.

I know this path will only get harder for me. As soon as my sister-in-law or sister gets pregnant, or my brother knocks up a chick, well... I may need to be committed. Those potential circumstances loom on the horizon, and I know they will eventually catch up to me.

The only option though, to me, is to just continue on. One cycle at a time, one week at a time, one day, one breath, one fleeting second at a time. Give this infertile a couple more years of continual shitstorm, though, and I'll be surrendering. I can't do this forever.

___________________________________

Mumford and Sons: The Cave

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh reality, how I loathe thee



Buster and I returned from our beach vacation this past weekend. While it was a nice trip, it really was more work than I care to do during a vacation. Too much cooking, cleaning, dishes, etc. Too far to travel to actually get to the beach. But, it was a vacation, and much needed.

The beach we went to was pretty much filled with families with young children, and older couples. We didn't really fit in. I could have done without looking at all the toddlers splashing around and having fun in the water...

But most of the time I was able to shelf my thoughts in regards to babies. Now that I'm home, however, it's not so easy.

I'm nervously excited for my upcoming appointment with a new RE. It is a week from today. I'm scared that the doc will want to move forward with IVF without taking into consideration my recent test results. I'm excited to think that I might be doing IVF for my 30th birthday after all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The universe is trying to break me, but I think I'm already broken

For those of you who have been following me for quite some time, you will perhaps remember the horror stories I told once upon a time about the waiting room of my OBGYN's office. I have referred to that particular shit show as the "preggo parade". It is a revolving door of baby bellies. They enter the waiting room, sign in, get called back, and leave. Then the next one shows up. All the while, I sit there. And watch. And mourn.

Today, for my annual exam appointment, it was no different. You know those montages they have in movies, where someone stays in one place (for example, sitting in a waiting room chair...), and everyone else around them is in fast-forward? That was me. That's what I envisioned was happening to me. I was in a movie. A horror movie.

But honestly, I expected this. I expect it when I go to this office. I've never seen a not-pregnant lady there. I'm the only weirdo having an annual exam, baby-bump-free.

Finally, after 30 minutes of sitting there, I get called back. The nurse, decked out in her Crocs, shows me to the scale (which for once I wasn't completely dreading!!) and then takes me to my room. She asks me the customary questions (Are you on birth control? When was your last period? What medications are you taking?).

While we are going over this positively riveting information, I keep hearing these sounds. It sounded to me like someone talking or breathing into their headset while Buster is playing Call of Duty. Lots of static noises. I ask the nurse if someone is playing a video game next door.

"No," she says laughing, "that's the ultrasound of a baby in the next room. When the baby moves and jumps around, it sounds like that."

"Oh," I reply.

WTF! Do they have that shit on surround sound in there? Are you kidding me?? Not only do I have to look at the bellies these little babies reside in, but I also (along with the parents) get to hear the baby moving around. Oh fanfuckingtastic!

We get through the rest of our conversation, although I couldn't tell you what else happened. All I could do was listen to the baby, and try not to hear it. The nurse leaves me with the stupid gown to put on. I change and plop down on the paper-covered exam table.

As I'm sitting there, awkwardly waiting for the doctor, I hear a new sound from the room. A heartbeat. The loudest heartbeat I've ever heard. Reverberating off the walls. Bouncing at me from every direction. Punching me square in the gut, repeatedly. Then happy voices, talking excitedly.

The tears well up in my eyes. I say, out loud to myself (yes, because I'm that crazy infertile bitch who talks to herself!), "Hold it together. Hold it the fuck together."

I cry a little, wipe the tears, fan dry my eyes with my hands like a maniac. I think to myself, "It can only get better from here, right?"

Wrong.

Enter my doctor. And nurse. And some chick who I have no idea who she is, other than she was wearing a white coat like a doctor.

The whole exam portion of the appointment happens uneventfully. As I sit up and try to make myself decent, he asks me if I ever ended up going to my former RE. I tell him yes. He asks what we tried, and I told him, all the while on the verge of  bursting into tears at any moment. I also told him that I have an appointment with a new out-of-town RE on August 1st.

He sits down, and proceeds to tell me about some lady that he knows that had spent a quarter of a million dollars on fertility treatments. She claimed she was addicted. She tried all new protocols and any new drug she could. I told him I could completely relate with that, given I had the money to do so.

Then he tells me that he and his wife tried IVF. He didn't realize how many different phases there were to IVF, and how so many different things could go wrong. He said that they were never able to transfer any of his wife's eggs, because they dissolved in the lab (????). Instead, they adopted.

He then goes into a 20 minute story about the adoption process, international adoption, orphanages in Guatemala, women lining up to give their babies away, etc. He finished up the conversation by saying that he wanted to plant a seed with me, and wanted me to know that there is more than one way to have a baby.

I could barely keep it together. Seriously, only barely did I make it through that conversation.

I have nothing against adoption. Shit, I may go down that road someday. But I don't want to think about it right now. Right now, I want to have a baby. I want to be pregnant. I want a child that has my husband's eyes. I want to even just try IVF.

I know he was just being nice. He is a genuinely caring doctor.

However, it was awful to sit through. After everything else that had happened thus far at this appointment, this was just the icing on the proverbial cake.

As soon as he and his sidekicks left the room, I cried. Not just a meek cry. A sob. You know that ugly kind of cry, that you don't want anyone to see you do. All the while listening to the heartbeat of another couple's dream come true.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Reproductively abnormal

The TTC Tunnel.

I find myself facing a relapse. This seems to happen frequently when AF is knocking at the door. She's not here yet, but I know she will be (and probably by tomorrow).

I'm feeling lost. I feel like I'm looking down a dark, scary tunnel. The TTC tunnel. There is no light at the end of this tunnel for me. At least none that I can see right now.

Don't get me wrong, my life is wonderful. Buster and I have been having a great summer, and Kelsey is my precious little princess. She is so sweet and cheers me up when I'm feeling down.

But sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees, ya know?

The world of reproductive immunology is vast and confusing. The fact that the only RE in my town is not only a douche, but also does not buy in to immune issues relating to infertility, well... that leaves me feeling hopeless.

Times like this I wish I lived in Chicago. Or Las Vegas. Or NYC. Or California. Somewhere where OPTIONS exist. I am tired of having no feasible options.

There are other immune tests I probably should have done. I can't find any answers from the online community as to confirm IVF as my only option. I want to be able to fix my immune issues naturally. I want to be able to save myself $10k+. I want a gluten-free diet to fix me. And fish oil. And whatever other OTC supplements I can shove down my throat.

I want to be reproductively normal.

I don't like trying to explain what antiphospholipid antibodies are to my family. I don't want to hear the advice from my male cousin, to "just adopt".

I want the inherent right promised to me by generations of women who popped babies out, one after the other, with no problems.

I don't want to think about my body attacking and killing my potential babies. I don't want to read scientific studies on immunology.

I don't want to feel hopeless.

I took a pregnancy test yesterday. Why would I do that to myself, you ask? Because I'm a fucking masochist. I thought that *maybe*, just maybe, because of my new healthy diet and the removal of so many bad foods from my diet, I hoped that somehow my body decided to repay me in kind.

You can guess the outcome. $4 down the pisser.

I'm a freak of nature in the immunology world as well. Most women who have tested positive for APA (antiphospholipid antibodies) have had recurrent miscarriages. Not me. Who knows if the APA/Natural Killer Cell issue is even my REAL issue.

Maybe I'm just broken. Beyond repair. Well, beyond cheap repair, that is.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Shall I? Or shan't I?

I've been delving pretty heavily into research the past couple of days regarding my diagnosis. Here are some thoughts/notes/info I've found:

  • Fish Oil can help to lower NK cells that are elevated. I bought some Fish Oil this morning, but I think I'm going to return it after doing more research. I want to get the kind that's a bit more expensive and more "pure". But, gonna give it a shot.
  • Most reproductive immunology doctors say that NK cells higher than 15% is high. Mine being only 10.7% doesn't seem that high to me, based on things I've been reading online. If the Fish Oil can help get me back to normal, that would be amazing.
  • A Gluten-free diet has been shown to help some women who struggle with infertility and autoimmune issues. When I get back from the beach in a couple weeks, I'm going gluten-free. (Bye bye beer!). I also got an amazing private message on my TTC forum from a woman who swears that by going gluten-free, she got her BFP. It was definitely an eye-opener. Because of her and that PM, I have done lots of research on the gluten-free diet. I may need to name my first child after her, if this works (hope you are reading, friend!) :)
  • Almost everyone I've seen online who has tested positive for Antiphospholipid Antibodies has had several early losses. That is a concrete symptom of APAs. I have never had a loss, as I've never been pregnant. I don't understand why I haven't had any losses based on my diagnosis. I don't understand why I've never been pregnant.
This new research has given me a renewed sense of urgency when it comes to my fertility. I'm not convinced that I need IVF. Am I in denial? Maybe. Delusional? Oh probably. But I can't afford IVF in the foreseeable future, so something's gotta give.

Another thought that has been flitting through my tiny little brain recently....

I am thinking of crawling back to my former RE with my new-found diagnosis in hopes that he will treat my Antiphospholipid Antibodies with heparin and we could continue with IUIs.

Is that completely crazy?

I don't want to wait a year or however long until I can afford to go see Dr. Sher or any other doctor, for that matter. My former RE is the ONLY one in town.

I know Buster will not be thrilled with this thought. But if I have to deal with my RE's subpar bedside manner in order to make my wildest dreams come to fruition, it's worth it.

I also don't see any reason I need to be on injectibles, and probably not even Clomid. Perhaps just a trigger shot so we can time it well. Or perhaps not even that. Maybe not even an IUI. I just don't know what my former RE will agree to. Maybe nothing.

I hate being in this position. I hate floating on, not knowing what to do.

But for now, I'm going to enjoy my long-weekend visiting with family and celebrating the holiday. Happy 4th to you all, hope it's wonderful! <3
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