4

Tomorrow…

I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I knew it wouldn’t be stress-free. I knew there would be fear. I knew there would be worry. I was ready for it all (or was I?). That’s why, when the past two weeks brought some highly unnecessary stress in the form of some troublesome immune panels and a suddenly aggressive OB constantly putting me in the unenviable position of making hard choices (esp. considering my CCRM doctor is on the other extreme of the ‘believe in immunology’ spectrum), I wasn’t too surprised. Not happy, of course. But not surprised. Almost, perversely, relieved. I felt as long as it was just that little bit hard, it would be okay.

When the nausea hit me last week, I welcomed it with open arms. I’ve been relentlessly, 24/7 sick since a whole week now. I wake up nauseous, I sleep nauseous. I eat a bit, it abates. For about 30 minutes. Then, off we go again. I feel like I’m watching my own body from outside as it panders to the whims of this invisible dictator. But I don’t complain. Not just because I feel it might indicate that ‘stuff is happening’, but also because I’m used to having it hard. I’m used to slaving my butt off for what I want. That’s usually when I get results. So every morning I dutifully wake up and try my damnedest not to let my churning tummy get the better of me as my hubby injects me with PIO/ lovenox. It’s baby food, I reason.

I met a friend the other day. Someone who knows of my struggles. She walked into my bedroom and saw my ‘stash’ of syringes, needles, patches, suppositories etc. She told me I’m so brave. I felt like she was being exaggeratedly complimentary. I felt embarrassed. I’m not brave, I told myself. I’m just a mom, doing everything she can for her baby.

And that’s my soft spot. For all the treatment, the maniacal preparation, the doc visits, the shots, the blood draws and the ‘I’ve got to be ready for anything’ attitude, fact is that I’m so deep in it already. I keep telling myself I’m not involved but who the heck am I kidding? I might not sing lullabies to my little lentil sized wonder or constantly rub my tummy in gentle wonderment but I would be lying through my teeth if I said I’m anything less than madly in love. I might gently chide my husband as he wonders if we will have a girl or a boy but secretly, I look for names when he isn’t watching.

Which brings us to tomorrow. Tomorrow-my first ultrasound. The day when things fell apart last time. I so badly want to believe that it will go well tomorrow. It takes but a few seconds of quiet contemplation about what tomorrow means for me to start squirming in intense nausea-induced agony as my heart beats fast and my mind tries hard to calm it down.

 

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5

6dp5dt

I’m a wreck. I thought I would be all zen waiting for my beta through this 9 day wait. But I’ve been obsessing over symptoms like a crazed freak. I don’t feel much which is really bringing me down. My breasts are just not getting sore (and they always do on natural cycles!) despite the copious amounts of progesterone I’m pumping in via PIO and Endomet.rin suppositories. I’ve had some ridiculously bad and extremely painful constipation (TMI, sorry!), I’ve been feeling bloated and gassy on and off with some light cramping. I suppose you could call these symptoms only I know the meds can mostly have these side effects.

My beta is scheduled for this Sunday but since it’s super tough to find a lab that will do it on Sunday, I will probably go in for a blood draw on Monday. That leaves us with the conundrum–do we test at home or not? I haven’t even bought any HPTs yet. I had truly thought I would be able to hold out till the beta but I am rapidly going insane. I keep bursting into tears, feeling like utter crap about the fact that I do not ‘feel’ anything. I am deathly scared of testing and seeing that terrible stark whiteness. Yet, I don’t know how I can survive these 3.5 days.  I’m reminding myself again and again that God has not led me here only to abandon me. He has my back and I need to trust and have faith.

0

A Transfer Tale/ How I became PUPO!

I’ve been sitting on this post forever. We had our FET at CCRM this past Friday. It’s been a roller-coaster ever since. Here’s our transfer story:

We booked an early morning flight to Denver one day before transfer (cheapest fare we got!) and somehow K managed to convince himself that the flight was at 630 when it was actually at 6. There was some rushing about and some angry muttering involved but we managed to make it in time for boarding. We reached Denver nice and early, found our rental and reached our favorite hotel, The Element, all in good time. That first day we didn’t do much -had some yummy pho at Viet Pho for lunch, came back to the hotel where I alternated between reading trashy novels and dozing off intermittently while K worked remotely. Dinner was takeout from an Indian place which we paired with a Bollywood movie on the computer!

Friday morning I got a call from CCRM to confirm that we were thawing one 5AA embryo. I had a quick non-soap shower (we had instructions on not using anything heavily scented), changed my patches, shoved the endometrin in and K gave me his first (and my third) PIO shot. It wasn’t all that bad; I mean it does hurt like a %@$#@# and throbs through the day but nothing I can’t handle. While he got ready, I paced the room partly out of nervousness and partly to let the PIO absorb. It was then that I heard a telltale whoosh sound. I yelled at K through the bathroom door–no babe, not the deo!!! I heard him cursing repeatedly as he remembered he wasn’t supposed to use it. Poor guy went right back in and took a second shower all the time yelling SHIT! SHIT! SHIIIIIT!!! We were concerned he wouldn’t be let in but it wasn’t an issue in the end.

We reached CCRM around 11.30 and checked in at the front desk for our labs. They took half an hour to call us in. The lab work itself was quick and painless after which we headed upstairs to the surgery center for the transfer. I was chugging water at a rapid speed by now. Soon enough, I was called in for acupuncture. We were directed to a room outside which was a whiteboard with my name which for some reason I really liked! I changed into the hospital gown and wore my lucky super girl socks (at least I hope they will turn out to be lucky!). K took a few pics of me, hopefully my last pre-pregnancy pics!

The lady who did the acupuncture was kinda reserved and a little aloof but I suppose she did a decent job for I was asleep pretty quickly. Although the valium might have helped! A little while later the lights were switched on, and the show was ready to begin. The embryologist wheeled in the incubator and Dr Su strode in, all smiles. He shook hands with both of us and asked me if I was ready. I nodded hard and he got to work. We signed some paperwork as he readied himself. He was pretty tickled with my blue and pink super girl socks which have little pink ‘capes’ behind them. He even showed them to John, the embryologist and they both solemnly agreed they hadn’t seen cooler socks before! He took my permission to tuck the capes in though cause they would’ve come in the way of his doing his stuff!

As soon as they showed me my little embabie, already hatching, on the screen, silent tears of overwhelming joy and love started streaming down my eyes. This is my child, I thought to myself. The transfer itself was a smooth, seamless affair. We could see where baby was in the uterus; kinda floated upwards in a gliding motion. It was beautiful, moving and precious all at once. Both the nurse and John agreed it was one of the smoothest transfers they had seen.

Once they were done, Dr Su untucked my sock-capes, wished us luck and confirmed that my tears were tears of happiness! I got the post-transfer acupuncture (was awake throughout, dying to pee!), got up to unload my bursting bladder and was then wheeled to our car and back to the hotel. I stayed on bed rest for the requisite 48 hours and we flew back home Sunday night with hope in our hearts and prayers on our lips.

2

Sun-kissed days… make my troubles seem so far away!

I wake up with a start. Something seems off. I look up and see azure sky with a few idle specks of cottony cloud. I’m not in my room, I realize. I’m at the beach! I’m in Cabo!

The weather seems to have been concocted to perfection -sunny, warm and breezy. We walk into the water, K and I. It feels so cool, an inviting liquid bliss. There’s fishes everywhere, some striped, others with yellow tails. They swim around us, generously letting us share their playground. We play with the tide, giggling uncontrollably each time a wave knocks one of us down. The hot sand scorches our feet as we race back to where we laid out our beach towels.

Later, we hang out in the pool. It’s Taco Tuesday and we’re ravenous! We wolf down fish and chicken and steak tacos and drink fruity beverages (mocktail for me!) decorated with lemon slices. We lean against the edge of the infinity pool and stare out into the formidable Pacific, at the famous arches where it meets the Sea of Cortez. A tiny dot in a magnificent universe. That’s what we are.

In our room we lie side by side, laughing over inane jokes that are our own brand of funny! He messes up my  hair, I tickle him till he begs forgiveness. It’s so wonderfully ordinary. We’ve missed ordinary so much.

I don’t forget. I can’t forget. I take my Lupron shots, I dutifully change my patches every other day. I’m aware of each day getting us closer to the day we have been waiting for. I can’t wait for that day to come. Yet, I cherish the preciousness that today is.

I know that hope can be a chameleon, changing color when least expected. I know fate can turn traitor. But I won’t let worry taint my dreams anymore. For, as of now, I’m living one of them 🙂

image

 

View from our room!

View from our room!

6

Here we go!

I’m just two days shy of starting my FET meds. Excited, very excited but also scared. I’ve packed in a lot into the next three weeks to ensure I don’t go batshit crazy! Coming up first in line is a long overdue vacation in Cabo!

Just the anticipation of four days with K spent luxuriating on a Mexican beach, unadulterated by the cacophony of everyday-ness has thrown me into a right tizzy. I’ve spent this whole week prepping for the trip like an excited teenager headed for spring break! Some new clothes have been bought, legs have been waxed, eyebrows threaded and hair will be cut tomorrow… I’m all set to seduce my husband, hot flashes notwithstanding!

Speaking of which, shouldn’t they be done by now? It seems in the past few days alone they’ve doubled in intensity; I now break out into a sweat like every 15-30 minutes! Nights are simply insufferable and the recent heat wave we’re having in Nor-cal does not help things one bit. The fact that no walls have been punched and no objects have been broken is a testament to my growing inner zen-ness 😉

My first lining check is the very next day after we’re back! My nurse told me today that Dr. S has started doing early lining checks for his patients so that if there are any issues there is more time to tweak the meds and hopefully resolve things. Makes sense to me; I only wonder why they didn’t think of it before!

So that’s where we’re at, all ready to jump off this cliff with the assumption (or desperate hope!) that we’ll be able to swim to safety upon landing. Let the fun begin 🙂

6

Romancing the in-between

The past month and a half have been precious, beautiful, stressful and oh so fragile–all at the same time. Yes, we still feel blessed for our 6 CCS normals. Yes, perhaps for the first time since we embarked on this amazingly painful journey, we have felt a semblance of the people we used to be before we hopped on this crazy ride! Yes, it has been both beautiful yet sweetly sad as each day has been drenched in the realization of what infertility has robbed from our lives. As K and I have gone out on dinners and enjoyed the occasional glass of wine, as we have walked hand in hand and snuggled up in movie theaters, we have marveled at how hugely precious it feels to be able to do these ‘ordinary’ things and actually enjoy them. For the first time in our married life (we started ttc soon after we married!) we feel like we are just operating on cruise control and not going batshit crazy running ourselves ragged over doctor appointments, tests and more. Amazing, isn’t it how when we finally see hope in a situation, we are reminded of how brutally it had been wrenched apart from us.

It’s not all peachy though. I had an endometrial biopsy soon after we got our results and it turned out to be negative for the beta-3 protein. Which meant I had to go on a 2-month-depot-lupron-induced menopause! I took my first injection 2 weeks back and if the headaches I’ve started having are any indication of what’s to follow, I’d better hold on tight! Our FET, which we were hoping to have in early April, is now pushed to the end of May. Not a huge deal in the larger scheme of things but still it was mildly frustrating to have to wait yet again. I was kinda hoping to have a baby in my arms before the year ends (of course assuming it works the first time!). I didn’t spend too much time dwelling on this though; instead I decided to use it as an opportunity to get into better shape and hopefully put on a few pounds!

The good part is I’m doing a fair bit of yoga (which I absolutely love), eating really healthy (experimenting with a lot of new gluten-free dishes and baking recipes) and trying hard to get more diligent with my dissertation work. The not-so-great bit is that between the crazy, pounding headaches, the extreme fatigue (which is also, I think, Lupron induced) and my dry, dry eyes it’s been a bit challenging to stay in constant zen mode. Wait, I did not even tell you about my dry eyes!

So, a few weeks back I started feeling an immense soreness in my eyes to the point where I was getting sensitive to light, having trouble working on the laptop and even driving. Turns out my eyes are d.r.y. Not just use-some-artificial-tears dry but so dry that I often make myself yawn just to get some moisture in them! My doctor’s take on this is that the hormones I have so gleefully pumped into my body have left their signature by shutting down my oil glands which are now blocked and inflamed. Hence, no lubrication. Basically every day by the time evening comes around my eyes are so tired, I prefer to sit in darkness since pretty much anything I do becomes too painful. My doctor has given me some home remedies but I’m hoping to get some prescription strength stuff next week when I see him again.

So that’s been my life in the past month and a half. It’s been peaceful on the whole. Babies and pregnant women don’t rip my heart apart the way they used to. Perhaps because I feel that might be me in the not-so-distant future. It’s strange though. This in-between phase. When I meet my friends with kids, I still don’t feel like I belong… obviously because I’m not even pregnant yet. But I don’t quite feel like such an alien outsider either. It’s a bit like that time in your new relationship when you feel he is going to commit soon but you worry he may just flake on you. I am full of hope for the future but sometimes I wonder what makes me so confident that it will just all work out perfectly now?

Just as I have embraced the hope, I am embracing the apprehensions that linger. For the moment, life is fragrant with the promise of possibility. What more could I ask for?

12

Thank you God!!

This will be a quick update as I’m rushing out for my acupuncture appointment. But since I’ve always been so liberal with my despondency on this forum, I thought it only fair that I share some truly brilliant news with all of you! After an extremely suspenseful week (more on that later!), today we got the call from CCRM.

Out of the 9 embryos that were biopsied, 6 were normal and 2 no result!

To say that we are in a delirious daze would be the understatement of the year! We have been so attuned to receiving disappointing news, I just did not expect something this wonderful!! My heart is overflowing with joy and I am so full of gratitude towards God and towards each and every one of you who take the time to read this blog and to comment and to support me!

We have a long way to go from here but today, K & I will be celebrating after a long time!!

Thank you God!