10

Quick update

Crazily enough, I’ve been trying to type up this post for four days now but I’m so, so sick I’ve been unable to get past the first few words. Today I’m snatching a few precious nausea-free moments just to let you all know that the first u/s went well… baby had a hb of 123.5 and all measurements looked fine. To say we were relieved is going to sound like the understatement of the year.
I’ve had a few blips with less than optimal results on some immune panels. My OB does some immune related work so I’m on lovenox and IL infusions as per his advice. Also considering contacting Alan Beers and have an MFM appointment set up for next month.
The nausea and vomiting are relentless. No complaints though. On to stressing about ultrasound 2 which happens about 10 days from now.
Thanks for all your support and sorry I’ve not been commenting on your posts as much as I’d like to.

1

It’s getting hot in herre!!

Poor Nelly. Little did he know that his chart-buster would make such an apt Lupron anthem! That is, until you get to the lyrics. The steaminess oozing from that song has about as much in common with a lupron-induced menopause as does a Himalayan yak with a chessboard.

Tomorrow, I will take my second (and hopefully last ever) Depot-Lupron injection. While my symptoms haven’t been as rabid as I expected them to be, I look forward to saying goodbye to killer headaches and those ridiculous hot flashes. One moment I’ll be the picture of serenity sitting with some friends over dinner and the very next moment I look like someone who’s just emerged from a Bikram Yoga class. And then there’s the morning fatigue. I don’t know if this is a common side effect or not but for the past month getting out of bed in the morning has held about as much appeal as the thought of skinny dipping in sub-zero weather. Once I’m up and about, though, it’s all good.

Of course, as far as K is concerned, there’s just one side effect of Lupron. It’s kindly titled ‘the return of the psycho shrew’. We’ve been squabbling like a pair of newly-weds over just about everything. All it takes is for me to discover some shaving gel on the bath counter or for him to say something like ‘babe you never keep my water bottle filled’ and it’s like I morph into a crazy, fishwife version of myself complete with door-slamming, yelling and full-on histrionics thrown in for good measure. The poor man sits silently while the gale storm that is his wife exhausts her fury and finally subsides into intermittent sobs. I swear (s.w.e.a.r) it’s the medicine making me cuckoo. It’s like I can observe it happening the way you would observe a chem-lab experiment go horribly wrong. I’m helpless though to control it. It’s exhausting, not just for K but for me too!

On a different note, I’ve been going for yoga pretty regularly. My new-found love affair with yoga is pretty ironic considering how inflexible I am. The good thing about my yoga studio is that it gets all types of people (and not just crazy fit LA types clad in second-skin spandex doing downward dog with all the agility of a bendy straw) so I don’t feel quite at sea when I’m unable to hold on to my heels with both hands while my body is bent and head is thrown backwards in camel!

My eyes continue to feel vacuum cleaned. I went back to my eye doctor and he still insists on a gentler approach. I’ve had no luck getting him to prescribe me something stronger but he has agreed to try out his patented non-medicated dry eye treatment (he’s a dry eye specialist) with me, starting tomorrow! I couldn’t be more excited. My eyes have felt so sore and so tired; I’m ready to start feeling better!

Exactly 7 weeks left until transfer. Time is crawling by and yet, I know, the day will be here soon enough and that makes me sick with excitement and nervousness!

11

A devastatingly careless mistake that temporarily derailed us

As most of you following my story know, we are awaiting our CCS results in the next couple weeks or so. It’s an anxiety-ridden time (to put it mildly), as many others who have gone through the same can testify. However, considering everything, I have been doing pretty well. Having my parents around, of course, has been a great distraction. They’re about to leave this weekend so I have been spending a lot of time with them, taking them out etc.

Today, we decided to go to our neighborhood mall for another such jaunt. We were on our way when I saw K’s number flashing on the screen. Before I could pick up, the call got disconnected. Mom’s phone rang soon thereafter. I could only hear her part of the conversation. “… okay we’ll come back right away”. What’s happened, I asked her even as my heart plummeted to unfathomable depths. She said he hadn’t told her, just requested us to come home urgently as there was a call from CCRM. My mind exited and my heart took over as I imagined the worst. I didn’t know how they had the results so early but I wasn’t about to think anything rational. My heart was racing, my mouth had turned dry and my head was spinning as I sped the car back towards home.

I have no idea how I managed to park and get out but as soon as I was out, I started running towards home. Crazily enough, my body had turned to mush in response to my emotional state so I half limped, half dragged myself home. I threw open the door and one look at K’s face reflected my worst fears. I sank in a heap to the floor as he said, extreme sorrow and pain written all over his face, “all our 9 blasts arrested”. As I said before, rationality had deserted me ages back so I could not even comprehend how seemingly good looking embryos (as per the embryologist’s call two days back) had suddenly all disintegrated. I was a huge, gaping wound that was tearing up faster than I could breathe. I screamed a guttural scream and it went on forever. My pain was too great to even cry. I just kept screaming, a terrible, animal sound that was very out of place in this small, peaceful apartment community we live in. Sanity walked out of the room as I clawed at the floor, tugged at the carpet, any physical action to relieve the pain that was ripping me open. There’s been times in the past (especially when our first IVF failed) when I wanted things to end. Not like a physical desire to harm myself but more a ‘let me never wake up to bitter reality again’. Today was different. Today I wanted to end this agony. This non-stop vortex of soul-sucking loss and despair. It scared the living daylights out of me.

K told me, anguished and stricken, that the nurse had called and given him the news. He had asked her to check the chart again as it made no sense but she called ten minutes later to repeat the same damn thing and said that Dr. S wanted to talk to us. Talk for what? I spat out. What the heck good will talking do now. He also said that he had asked for the embryologist to call us because we deserved an explanation as to how this happened in the first place. Just then the phone rang. I picked it up. The embryologist asked me what the nurse had told me, even as I continued howling on the phone. I repeated what we had been told. And then, she said this:

“That is completely wrong. I have no clue why she told you this but you need to know that your blasts are perfectly fine and nothing has happened to them. I am so so sorry that you had to go through this”.

I was stunned. K looked like someone had kicked him in the gut anew. Wait, I half-sobbed, half-shouted as I asked her to tell me again what she had said. I don’t remember correctly but I think I did this several more times. She was extremely kind and empathetic as she kept repeating the same thing over and over and apologizing profusely even though it was not her fault in the least.

I cried and cried on the phone as I said thanks to her. When I hung up, K looked thunderous. He could not believe how careless the nurse had been. We weren’t fans of her to begin with; she was curt, often condescending and she never inspired confidence so I made sure to remain on top of things through the process, never trusting her completely. But this? Who the fuck makes a mistake this colossal??!!

The phone rang again. It was her. Before she could say hello, I roared at her “How could you do this???? How could you make such a massive mistake? Do you have any idea what we have gone through in the past half hour?” She said she was sorry. And she said that a couple more times. And then she gave me an explanation that made me want to scream. She saw my report and it said that there was a total of 18 fertilized embryos. 9 had arrested and 9 had made blasts. For some God-forsaken reason, she completely ignored the 9 that made it and just chose to see the ones that hadn’t. And then she called us and you know the rest.

I was stunned at her carelessness. How does a clinic that takes thousands and thousands of hard-earned money from scores of couples justify keeping a person like this on their staff? A person who cannot even be relied upon to read a damn report? You might say, mistakes happen, we’re all human and I would say yes, you’re absolutely right. I could have found it within me to forgive her for that oversight had my husband not requested her to please go see the chart again. To overlook the same thing twice in a row is nothing short of an enormous stupidity. This is not a student’s final grade. You work in a medical setting where the stakes are enormous. We emptied our life-savings on this clinic not to have our hearts ripped out of our body for something that did not even happen! You can feel heartbroken when life doles out misery but how the heck do you rationalize going through mind-numbing grief for something that never happened! As K rightly said, it’s like telling the family of a patient that he died when in reality he is getting better.

This is not like getting bad news. No once can be held responsible if embryos don’t turn out normal or if they don’t implant. This was AVOIDABLE. This did NOT need to happen. For there is no excuse in the world that will justify what we all went through in that half hour. My parents were devastated. To see your child writhing in agony and vocalizing a desire to not live anymore is not something any parent should have to witness. Or a husband whose entire world revolves around his wife. My husband was stricken. I saw him briefly lose control and witnessing his naked pain was more than I could handle. Again, there is terrible unfair sadness and loss happening all around us everyday. But this did not need to happen.

I was doing so well. I was hopeful yet guarded. I was living each day fully, feeling closer to God than I have ever before. I feel destroyed right now. I do not know how I will pass the days leading up to the result now. I do not know how I will stop myself from hyperventilating every time the phone rings. Once again, innocence has been killed. The innocent anticipation with which I awaited our results is now gone. In its place is a physical ache, an anguish that will likely keep me up several nights.

For all of you reading my blog, today I humbly request you to please pray for us and our baby blasts. It’s been a heartbreaking journey for the past three years and we really need some good news. On any given day, your prayers and your wishes would mean the world to me but today, they just might help me breathe a little easier.

0

FML. No, really.

As I stepped out of the house last evening for an acupuncture session after three weeks, I promised myself that I would no longer indulge my morose state of mind any longer. After all, there’s far greater shit out there that people are dealing with. Like Kim Kardashian’s compounded emotional upheaval of divorce round the corner plus Kanye about to propose plus need to procreate urgently since sis Kourtney has already popped out no. 2 (as in child no. 2 not the everyday stuff). Gosh.

No, seriously though. Kardashian woes aside, there is a lot of serious shit out there that people are dealing with. So I told myself to stuff the pity-fest, hold my head high and strut the street in manner of Carrie Bradshaw doing her thing. And I did. Only to get triple-slapped, Tom & Jerry style. Metaphorically, of course. For my practitioner was very visibly pregnant. Glowing. She was extremely nice about the whole thing, almost apologetic as she announced the fact. I was genuinely pleased for her. As I had been when my previous acupuncturist in LA had told me that she was pregnant. Or when the very first time I went for acupuncture the lady who treated me was 8 months pregnant. I’m not a hater; these are all extremely skilful practitioners all of whom have been very kind and helpful to me plus they are all really nice people. And I wish them all the very best.

But it does nothing for my already peaking frustration levels. As I walked out of the clinic, trying hard to look every bit as composed as I had when I walked in, I could not help but marvel at God’s intended message. Either he is desperately trying to reassure me that hey look all these women around your age are pregnant and so will you be. Or he has one twisted sense of humor.

Oh well. At least the PMS seems to have exited theatrically in a grand finale of thundering sobs. Standing ovation for the period which is finally here!!

0

God works in mysterious ways.

I feel so bad now. In my last post I was mad with my upstairs neighbors for keeping us awake through the night. Just about ten minutes back she was here with her baby to give me an adorable surprise. Her little girl who is just learning to speak has learned how to say my name! Apparently, yesterday she just started saying my name while playing at home. She has not even learned her father’s name yet! I was so touched, I almost cried. Clad in the cutest little outfit, she prattled away repeating my name again and again. I believe it was a sign from God. Just don’t ask me what kind of sign. The fact that it got me to smile on this absolutely glum day says a lot, innit?

0

Double whammy!

It’s a weird irony of nature that the HPT is typically taken a few days before AF is due (obviously because if it’s negative then AF will follow)… it also happens to be a time of emotional and physical disturbance for many women. PMS is often ridiculed in pop culture as a time when women acquire rabid overtones and express behavior that borders on irrational, either breaking down into a slobbering mess at the slightest provocation or screaming their heads off, sending the spouse running to the nearest watering hole to drown his sorrows. BS I say. Try being a woman who genuinely suffers from PMS for a day and I can safely say that the brawniest man out there will eat his words.

Every twinge in my tummy, every indication of soreness or that dull cramping sensation, every heightened emotion reminds me that the bloody (literally!) beast is on his way and I have no choice but to accept that. Last night was absolutely awful, the upstairs neighbors decided to enact a rather complicated tap dance routine right about 2 am. The spouse valiantly slept on, aided by his two loyal minions–his ear plugs! (I can’t wear ear plus since none fit my ear. No kidding. I’ve tried many times; the darn things just fly out -projectile style- before I have a chance to twist them in!) At 6.30 am the sunlight came to say a cheery hello again (did I mentioned I’m not a morning person?); poor DH retreated to the couch as has been his routine past few nights whereas I flitted from room to room, pillows and blanket in tow, cursing the world at large in a remarkably un-ladylike manner.

So now, at the late, late hour of 11.26 am I am sipping my protein smoothie, feeling extremely pissed off with my upstairs neighbors (who continued making the floorboards creak well into the morning), irritated with my husband for snapping at me because I was clumsy enough to trip on my own flip-flops (okay third time I tripped in two days but still!) and annoyed with my sticky, pasty hair which needs a good wash and my runny nose (allergies are back) and those three gargantuan pimples that befriended me a day after my last period and haven’t left my side since then.

I feel ugly, bloated and just an all out sad sap. I mean look at me. The other day upstairs neighbor was seeing some pics from our wedding and she casually remarked at how much younger I looked then, even though it was just 1.5 years back. I replied, politely, that the ttc process can take a toll on you (I am all about full disclosure, btw. People are welcome to form their own impressions which, I surmise, they eventually will either way). She laughed and said oh if this is your state planning for a baby, you’re in for trouble when you have one. Now she wasn’t being catty or anything and I suppose with a 1.5 year old girl she even knows what she is saying. However, I thought that comment was entirely out of place. As soon as they left I rushed to the mirror and kept looking at myself. I remember who I was not so long back. I was dating my husband-to-be and all my attentions were devoted to looking sexy and well groomed. Not to say I have underarm hair growing down my waist now. I still take care of my appearance, get my hair cut regularly, wear good clothes. Just that the zing is gone somewhere. I attributed it more to getting caught up with my PhD and a certain marital comfort rather than the ttc process which, I feel, we are still relatively new at. But when someone makes a comment like that, you do start questioning yourself. Do I really look that much older?

So, once I get over this frustration-struck phase of letting last month’s failed attempt pass, I am going to ‘perk’ up a little bit, put on some make up every now and then, and finally get my irritatingly long hair cut into a short, sleek style… something I’ve been dying to do for a while now but refrained from because the spouse likes the long hair. Well, I have a sneaky suspicion he likes my sanity even more. So there!

0

The Morning After…

The implications of a negative HPT always hit me harder the next morning when I wake up. I feel gloomy, hopeless and just struck by a general malaise. There is a pattern of sorts here: I POAS, see the damned single line, bawl like a banshee till I tire myself out and then sit in a corner sobbing my heart out. DH holds me, comforts me, rocks me back and forth like a baby and whispers soothing words of assurance (the man’s so patient, I tell ya!). Done with the tears, I move on to raging against the world, lash out at God and just say stupid, bitter things that seem silly to me even as I am saying them. All ranted out, I dust my misery off and agree with DH to go out. So last night we decided we’ll do Thai and a movie. Damn the diet. One day won’t make a difference. And I have this policy that on a negative HPT day I am allowed to indulge. Although, in this case, with the Thai place closed indulgence was simply a non-organic chicken wrap that we ate more because we were running out of time to see the movie (Avengers–waste of time, if you ask me… unless, you are dying to see Robert Downey Jr. do his thing which was, quite literally, the saving grace of the film). Yet I felt immensely guilty after doing so. Came back home after the movie, exhausted since it was almost 2 am by the time and flopped into bed. Refused to take supplements, refused to brush my teeth… serious stuff this day long rebellion is.

Anyhow, FF to this morning. I managed to sleep in longer than I usually do (quite the feat considering we have a virtual deluge of sunshine attacking our bedroom early in the morning and still have to get drapes) but I was in that half asleep-half awake place where the realization of the negative test would keep hitting at me reducing more and more my inclination to get out of bed. I did temp as usual, more for a morbid curiosity now that I know AF will be here soon, and even had the presence of mind to wash the thermometer (forgot to do it yesterday) when I went to wee in the middle of the night so it would be clean for me to use! A slight drop from yesterday which I suppose makes sense, considering all things.

I am sitting in my living room right now looking out. It’s almost noon and I still haven’t eaten. I should eat but I don’t feel like moving. Writing this blog is the only thing that gives me any modicum of peace. It’s as if my fingers need to just keep clicking on the keyboard for sanity to stick around. I look outside at the sunshine-y day and I feel so distant and removed from it. It’s someone else’s sunshine-y day, not mine. There’s work to be done, a presentation to prepare, grocery run, food to be cooked but for now the body, egged along by the mind and heart, is on strike.