Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth...

When we first considered going down the IVF path, I knew from the very beginning that I was going to blog about it but not publish them right away.  I needed this time with just us. Time to get through the first trimester without hardly anyone knowing we were pregnant.  IVF was going to be our last resort, our way to become parents, the last step...the ONE that was going to work.  I knew I would want some time to take it all in, relish in my first ever positive pregnancy test and find a super kick-ass way to announce to the world that we were finally pregnant!

On April 28th, my estrogen finally dropped low enough to be accepted into the IVF study.  This meant that our IVF was "only" going to cost us $5,000 instead of the normal $12,500 (out of pocket-no payment plan-upfront and now, since our insurance company won't cover this...)We started a new round of injections that day and we were on our way to becoming pregnant! I was now on 2 different daily injections. On May 8th I did my last and final shot...the wonderful trigger shot! Two days later we went in for my egg retrieval. You can read all about it HERE.

Two days later on May 13th I took the day off of work and we went in for our transfer.  We had 2 amazing embryos waiting for us! One of them was so perfect, that all the doctors and nurses were literally jumping up and down waiting to see them on the big screen under the microscope.  The doctor had labeled one of them as a Grade 1 embryo (text book perfect!) and evidently, he only gives this rating out once every year to every other year! My doctor was beyond ecstatic! The transfer went well, and we went home and treated ourselves to spicy Chinese food (the nurses told us that spicy Chinese food was the trick to implantation!) You can read all about the transfer and see the pictures HERE.

My two wait weeks were going well.  I thought everyone at work would be able to tell from my face that I was carrying around my two perfect embryos.  Then it happened. 1:32am on Friday May 23rd I woke up bleeding.  I knew at that moment, I had lost them.  I started crying uncontrollably. Dave was lost and didn't know what to do.  What could he do?  He just held me as I was hyperventilating. I laid numb for hours crying and rocking back and forth in bed. Somehow I got up, and went to work knowing that it would be a 3-day weekend and all I had to do was make it through the day.  Once I got home, Dave ordered me to mandatory bed rest and we called my doctor.  The nurse said it didn't sound good, but it could just be break-through bleeding from where they implanted, but I knew better.  I knew deep down that I had lost them.  I stayed in bed for 2 days while Dave tried everything to bring me back to reality. I didn't want to move.  I didn't want to eat or sleep. I just wanted the pain to go away.  The pain of knowing that this was our last try and it didn't work.  I did everything they told me to do, but after 12 blood draws, 8 internal ultrasounds, 24 pills and 38 total shots and injections it still didn't work. It was confirmed  on Tuesday May 27th. I left work for an hour to run to the doctor.  I didn't want to look at anyone.  No one really knew what to say.  I had them take my blood, I peed in a cup, got the results and begged to leave. I didn't want to be there anymore.  I held it together until I got to the exit door.  A nice younger couple held the door for me, and I lost it.  I started crying uncontrollably all the way to my car.  I sat in my car for 40 minutes just crying.  Just trying to get it back together.  I headed back to work, eyes blood shot and red and completely numb. I don't know how I made it through the day. I knew I should have called in and just gone home, but then I would have been alone in my house with only my thoughts of this loss to keep me company.  At least at work, I was needed and had many huge projects to work on and keep me busy. I had to keep my mind off of this!

As I sit here trying to write down all of these feelings going on inside, tears are streaming down my face. I can't stop them. My chest feels like it's going to cave in any second as my heart is being ripped from my body. It literally feels like a 300lb man is standing on my chest. When I think about it, sharp pains rush through my chest and I feel my heart drop. The pain now is physical and not just mental. I grasp my chest thinking I'm having a heart attack, and in a way I guess I am.  My heart is being attacked by the pain of another failed attempt. I thought my first negative test 10 years ago was hard until I had my first failed IUI. That was unbearable. Now this. Nothing compares to this. Nothing compares to this failed IVF. The heartache is unbearable. I want to crawl into a hole and never come out. I cry every day. I go through the motions of trying to get through the work day, and in retrospect, work is saving me a little from completely losing it.

It's the end of the school year, and since I'm a specialist and not a classroom teacher anymore, I have been pulled from my buildings to work on district projects.  I'm super busy which helps keep my mind off of everything.  I've only lost it at work a couple of times (so far) and was lucky that no one saw. Everyone is so nice and when they look at me and say "Good Morning!" I don't think anyone has realized yet that my response is only "Morning" because no it's not good...it's horrible! It's another day without the hope that my 2 perfect embryos have found their home and made me a mommy. When some one kindly asks a simple question like "How are you?" or "How's everything going?" I put on a smile and respond like I should "Great..and you?" but inside I'm screaming "I'm dying a little bit each day....if you only knew?!?"

I don't know where we will go from here. The doctors and nurses told us we can try again, but I don't know if I can manage it again both emotionally and financially. In the past 11 months we have tried 4 months of IUI's and now an IVF round.  We are tapped. I'm broken. I'm lost. I'm done. I just don't know if I have it in me to do this again.  I don't know how some of my friends who have gone through this do it multiply times over and over.  They are the strongest women I know.  I just can't....

Today, Tuesday June 24th-
I actually slept through the night for the first time in over 4 weeks.  Things are starting to look up, and I find myself starting to feel hopeful again and thinking that maybe, just maybe, I can try one more time. In the past week, I have only cried 2 times which is a HUGE thing for me.  I am starting to laugh again, and am even meeting up with friends again.  I can see how something like this can ruin and break marriages.  I shut myself off from the whole world, including Dave, and went through the motions of life just trying to make it one more day.  Because of him, my wonderful and amazing husband, I am now starting to come back. He stood by me and waited. He tried to make me feel better without letting himself really grieve. He was my rock and my everything. I pushed him away wanting to be alone, be he wouldn't budge. He is my savior and the reason I smile. I love him more today than ever before.
For those that I snapped on in the past 4 weeks or ignored, I'm sorry.  I just needed to make it through the day. I'm not making excuses for my bad behavior, but this is the explanation for it...

The reason for this blog post is because when I posted the last one about the Lupron injections, so many people were sending us well wishes and prayers.  That post was published 2 days after my negative test results.  I couldn't take all the happy well wishes knowing that it was over and it didn't work.  I just wanted it to be over, but I was going to be forced into reliving it again because I was behind in my posts.  I couldn't do it. I had to create this post in order to sum it all up and get back into real time. Now we're all together on the same page in this crazy book called Life. I have to accept that this may be my reality.  I may never be a mom to human babies only my fur-babies.  I may never do IVF again, but if I do, then I will definitely blog about it in real time! I've learned my lesson!  What I do know, right here and right now though, is that I will be okay. It's been a very long and tortuous four weeks. I'm just glad that it's summer break, the sun is shinning, and I have a few good books to keep me company. Dave dug a hole, cemented a post and made a hammock for me so I could have a peaceful getaway in our own backyard! If you need me this summer, that's where you will find me!

Transfer Day!!!!!

I can't believe the day is FINALLY here!  For all of my IUI's I was petrified the day of.  Retrieval day...scared shitless!  Now today, transfer day, I couldn't be more excited! This has GOT TO BE a great sign!

I woke up this morning ready to go!  Am I being optimistic? Yes! Am I over-excited? Yes! Am I setting myself up for another heartbreak?  Maybe...but eff it! I'm excited!!!

This is it!  This is the day where I just KNOW I'm going to get pregnant!  This is going to work!  I can feel it in my bones!  My appointment is at 9:30 this morning and time is just dragging!  I already have my outfit picked out like it's the first day of grade school! I have my special knee-high obnoxious socks ready....yes I'm THAT chick! I bought them just for today.  They are a simple white (unlike the socks I bought for retrieval day!) and down the side of them they say OMG!  They're perfect!  I knew those were the socks the moment I saw them.  I found them at the 4th store I went to and immediately picked them up and bought them!  Oh My Gosh...this is really happening!!!

Yesterday I found myself daydreaming off and on throughout the day knowing that it was my last day of not being pregnant.  10 years in the making and this was my last day! I bought a bottle of wine, knowing it was my last for awhile and went home happy and excited. I thought about the future and couldn't wait to get home and see Dave!

Now the day is here! This is the day! It is our time! The wait is over...except for the excruciating 2 week wait!  We've got this!

C'mon 9:30!!!!! They just called to rescheduled for 10:30....

Transfer Update.....
So we get there at 10:15...you know me, if I'm on time, I"m late!  Being late gets me all spun up (more than normal!) and sends me into a tizzy.  We didn't need that today.
So I get my blood drawn, I shown off my socks to everyone, and there's not a single soul in the whole clinic that can't feel my excitement.  I am LITERALLY skipping down the hall to get my blood drawn!

The transfer couldn't have gone better!  Of the two PERFECT embryos that we transferred, one of them was graded as a Grade 1...text book perfect!  He only gives this grade to a select few!  My doctor said she only sees this about once a year to once every other year!  YAY!!!!  My other perfect embryo was graded as a Grade 2.  Amazing!
Here they are! Grade 1 is on the top right, and Grade 2 is on the bottom left.  Double Trouble! HA!

Retrieval Day

Oh my gosh here it is!
We get there early and everything is set and ready to go. The nurses are beyond amazing and I have my bright colored socks on ready to rock and roll. My favorite color is green, but on the top they have pink and blue stripes...great luck right?!?

I get my IV in, Dave's there taking pictures and now we're ready! My anesthesiologist gives me my fun cocktail and it's so weird because I can feel the cold running through my veins. I start getting loopy and it's time to be rolled into the OR! It's time! My eggs are done cooking and now it's time to transfer them to the plate...or in this case, the Petri dish!

15-20 minutes later I'm back with Dave and starting to wake up. I have to lay there for an hour with this AMAZING heat pad that's made from an IV bag sitting on my stomach! Who would have thunk it?!?  A heating pad made from an IV bag... Best. Thing. Ever!

I'm now home laying in bed for the next 24 hours waiting to recover and hear the results. Ironically enough, we'll find out tomorrow on mothers Day how many of our eggs fertilized. This is yet another great sign for good things to come!

I asked Dave (who's waiting on me hand and foot) to go and grab something from the guest room for me. To his surprise, I had a basket of hand selected beers and a couple of cigars waiting for him on the bed with a personalized card! He deserved a surprise and reiteration of how much I love him and how much I appreciate how much he's put up with the past couple of months. Each beer was bought for the label (including the raging bitch beer..thanks Candace for that suggestion!!!!) He was beyond moved, and I'm so glad I was able to do something good for him instead being a crying hot mess!

So now I lay here watching TV and waiting for the results!!! In 3 days we will transfer the best looking 2 embryos! This is what we've been waiting and praying for!

Thank you everyone!!

P.S. I'm only one hour into my 24 hour bed rest and I'm already bored and ready to get up and get started with my day.....yikes! I have way too much energy, but this will ALL be worth it in the end! :)

P.P.S. I just got the phone call about my results!  Today is Mother's Day and today is the day I found out the great news!  From the 12 mature follics I had on Thursday (5 really good ones, 4 good ones, 2 ok ones and 1 ehh one) they were able to retrieve 6 eggs! 2 of them did not fertilize and 4 of them did!  The 4 that fertilized, they all look really good the doctor said!  What great news for this hope-to-soon-be-mom on Mother's Day!