Friday, June 26, 2009

Thank you, sorry, and some thoughts on my dad

Thank you all for your kind comments and supportive words. They help, they really do.

And an apology: I have not been commenting as I should for ICLW. I've been too wrapped up in the mess in my head. I don't like soaking up all of your comments and not giving anything back, so I'll try to catch up this weekend. For now though, a big sorry to the internets.

I've found my thoughts lately drifting to my dad. He's been on my mind all day today, as if I needed more to be emotional about. He died, more than 14 years ago, when I was a teenager. He was an alcoholic, and when drunk he scared the shit out of me. He was never actually physically abusive to me, but the threats scared me as if he was. I remember sleeping with a knife under my mattress when I was 10 or 11, because one fun night, my brother and I had woken up to hear him sharpening knives in the kitchen in the middle of the night. We asked him what he was doing (because sometimes when he was drunk he'd do stupid, funny things in his sleep) and he responded that he was getting ready to kill our mother. For a long time after I slept with the knife under the mattress and a giant teddy bear on top of me so that if he stabbed me, it wouldn't go so deep as to kill me. I hated him.

But I loved him too, so much. When he wasn't drinking, or detoxing, he was a nice guy. He was my dad - he cooked for me, told me funny stories, took me to the park when I was little. Those pleasant memories faded out as I got older, nearer to the end of his life. I wanted him to have the strength to defeat his demons. I wanted him to love us enough. I was so, so angry for so long before he died because he couldn't. And for all of these years I've mourned the relationship I never got to have with him: the confidante, the dating advice, the daddy to his little girl. Would he love Hubby? Would he fly here to be with me now, to hug me and comfort me and wipe away my tears? I miss him, but it's a fiction: that dad never existed in my life, at least not since I left kindergarten.

What saddens me most about my dad's death and life is that now that I am old enough to know how tragic his own childhood was, how much pain he himself struggled with daily, how addiction is not something that can be defeated by force of will - now that I am old enough to really love him - he's gone.

I still have dreams of him, though. Every couple of months or so, I dream that he walks up to my door, handsome and muscular like he was before he really started going downhill, and knocks, and explains that it was all a big misunderstanding - he hasn't been dead all these years but stranded somewhere, trying to make his way back to me. To prove to me that he did love me enough, he really did.

I wonder sometimes if the only reason I can see past all of that anger and angst I used to have is because I am looking through the prism of his death. Maybe, if he were still alive, I'd still be angry and hateful. Maybe we would never have had that closeness. That's what death does - robs us of possibility. I'll never know, as much as I'd like to.

But right now I am feeling very much like a girl in need of her daddy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

it's pity party time

The emotional overload has begun. I don't know why yesterday went so smoothly, except perhaps for the fact that I had Hubby all day and we were home together, not stuck at work.

Today sucks already. I can feel the cramping and the weird pain in my cervix beginning. My body is getting ready to expel my poor dead baby-like entity, and all I can do is sit here and try not to cry.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Operation No Regrets

Second beta = 3. Loss confirmed.

I spoke to my RE this morning and he thinks that we "need help." (Um, really? Ya think so? I love my doctor beyond belief but I think that's obvious at this point). He really thinks IVF, possibly with pre-implantation genetic screening, is the way to go. He also does not think that I'm insane for wanting to try again.

If you had asked me two years ago, I would have said that I had absolutely no interest in pursuing IVF. Hubby and I, at that time, thought that the money would be better spent on adoption. Oh, how times change. I'm really sold on this idea of having no regrets whatsoever on our baby-making mission, and so I'm considering it. Cost is a factor though, and since we'll need to save up for our clinic's program, we're going to try some smaller guns in the meantime.

Doctor Obvious sees no need to pursue further testing at this point, since we've had so many tests, including genetic karyotyping, done already. We have formulated a plan to embark on Operation No Regrets after my next cycle. At this point, the plan is: try Clomid alone, then try Clomid + IUI, then try injectables + IUI, and then move on to IVF if necessary (and if we can afford it). My biggest fear regarding IVF is that if it fails, we'll have dumped all of our moolah into it and will have nothing left for adoption, but we'll cross those bridges when we get to them. As part of ONR, I will be excising caffeine and alcohol from my life. Today, though, I am enjoying cocktails made with Mountain Dew and SoCo and am feeling deliciously numb. And hot. Seriously, when is this midwestern heat and humidity wave going to end? I'm on my patio right now, and I feel like I'm breathing soup.

I feel surprisingly ok about all of this, but that could change at any moment. I wish we were wealthy, and had every option open to us right now, but alas, we aren't. We did, however, play the lotto today. Seriously, our luck has got to change at some point, right? If we win (yeah right) I'd like to pay for treatment for other couples who can't afford it, because infertility sucks when your pockets aren't deep.

Hubby took the day off today to hang with me, and I have to say, it's been great. We've been laughing a lot (because our only other option is to curl up in a hole somewhere and die) and enjoying each other's company. I'm super glad we share the same dark sense of humor, because otherwise, shit would be awkward. Case in point: returning from the store with our SoCo and Mountain Dew, he let me carry the bags. And I said "Sure, let your miscarrying wife carry the bags for you. I guess if I can't carry a child, I might as well carry the groceries, huh?" And he said "Absolutely. Make yourself useful." And we both cracked up. God, do I love that man.

And tomorrow I begin my clean living regime, and the start of ONR. Hope abounds where it shouldn't. Wish me luck. Oh, and if anyone has any advice about entering the world of fertility drugs and whatnot, I'd love to hear it. I have a feeling it's going to be a crazy ride.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pregnancy #6: Epic Fail

The first beta hcg was 9 - not good. My doctor is reserving judgement until we see what happens on Wednesday, but it's looking pretty grim. I'm thinking that if I was getting positives last week, the hcg must have been higher than 9 at some point, leading me to believe that it's already falling. Pregnancy #6 = epic fail.

I hate that I keep bringing such pain into Hubby's life. He's devastated. I can see it in the set of his mouth, the droop of his shoulders. And his eyes - so, so sad. It breaks my heart that he keeps having to deal with this shit because of MY dysfunctional lady parts. Sunday, Father's Day, he kept touching my belly, and smiling, and it was so sweet that I knew it couldn't last. My life just doesn't work that way.

The doctor called me at work to give me the test results, and the waterworks started. I know my coworkers must know something is up, but luckily I got to hide in the office on the phone with tech support, so I could duck under the desk and play with wires whenever a fresh batch of tears appeared. I can't control them. They just pop up out of nowhere. I don't know how I'm going to function today. Especially if we have any preggo clients come in.

The sick thing is, I think I might want to try again. My name is Wifey, and I'm a miscarriage-holic. I have not yet fully implemented my straight edge, organic only lifestyle. Of course, I blame myself and those couple of beers I had after ovulation. I keep thinking that this whole trying to stay knocked up thing is like some crazy math equation: add organic everything, subtract pesticides, beer, sugar, carbs and anything else I remotely enjoy, multiply by a couple of doses of going to church (even though I don't believe in god anymore) and at the end, we'll get =baby. I know myself well enough to know that I won't be able to accept it if I feel like I haven't given 100% effort. I don't want to wake up some day 10, 15 years from now and wish that we had just given it one more try. I think I must be insane.

2 good things: Damn, do I have a strong marriage. We've been through the ringer and have only come out tougher and more in love. I just wish I could make him a dad, because he'd be a fab one.

The other good thing: some lawn care sales guy approached Hubby when he was out mowing today. He was in such a mood because of dealing with all this, I guess the thought of trying to wrangle the jungle in our backyard into submission sent him over the edge, and he signed a contract for professional weed control. I'm not thrilled about the whole chemical thing, but if you saw the weeds in our yard you'd know why we need to do this. They just won't die (unlike the babies in my uterus). We have a six foot privacy fence back there, and some of this shit is beginning to grow over the top of the fence. My soil, it seems, is fertile beyond belief. Oh, the irony.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

If you're visiting from ICLW...

hi. Thanks for stopping by. I didn't do this last month, which was my first time participating, so I thought I'd fill you in on some of our journey.

We first got pregnant in December 2005. We didn't exactly plan it, but we weren't using birth control either, so we were pretty excited. Then the nightmare began. I spotted almost the entire time, and my doctor (the quack) assumed it had to be an ectopic, and gave me methotrexate to end the pregnancy. I didn't question her at the time, but now that I know a little more I would have waited before treatment.

We got preggo pretty quickly after that for the second and third times, even though I had such bad bleeding/cramping with each that I had no idea that I was pregnant. We were trying, though, and I was waiting to ovulate so I knew something was up. With each, the betas were rising, but a bit more slowly than they should have, before they stopped. Empty uterus on the ultrasounds. Empty heart as well.

Number 4 was kind of a blur, but similar to 2 and 3. After this loss, I was finally diagnosed with anticardiolipin antibodies, and prescribed a daily mega dose of folic acid, baby aspirin, and progesterone and lovenox upon confirmation of the next pregnancy. All other fertility tests came back fine.

Number 5, 15 months after number 4, sucked ass. The scenario was similar to the previous pregnancies (bleeding/cramping and negative hpts, which made me think I had gotten AF, before finally getting a positive). After much bloodwork, and pleading with the RE, I got an early appointment for an ultrasound. I just KNEW something wasn't right, and sure enough, little cletus the fetus had parked his ass in my fallopian tube. Surgery and massive doses of painkillers ensued. I became pretty depressed after this loss, and considered giving up trying.

And now, six months later, here we go again. This seems different, though, so maybe we'll actually end up with a kid in 36 weeks or so. Or maybe we'll discover another new and horrifying way to experience pregnancy loss.

Only time will tell.

still reeling

So, as I noted in my last post, I seem to be knocked up. I've not yet confirmed this at the doctor (hopefully will be doing that tomorrow) but an embarrassing number of HPTs concur.

The timing was pretty sweet - today is our sixth anniversary, and, of course, Father's Day. I've been suspecting it for a while and was getting really faint positives since Thursday, which was 11 or 12 dpo. Here's the crazy thing: this is my sixth (!) pregnancy, and the ONLY one in which I've gotten a positive that early. It's also the only time I've not had any significant bleeding (spotted a little yesterday but really only noticed when I was inserting my progesterone suppository). I hope those are promising signs. I started the lovenox and progesterone right after ovulation this month, and I'm not sure that they had anything to do with the current state, but I think maybe they did.

In all honesty, I'm pretty numb right now. I'd like to be hopeful, but I know how many things can go wrong. I'll take numb though - it's better than anxiety-ridden and dysfunctional. Hubby and I were chatting at lunch today, and we both made some pretty grim jokes at our fetus' (or zygote's?) expense. Don't hate me for it, kid.

I'll be calling the RE's office first thing in the am, and then the roller coaster ride will really begin.