Day 73

May 25, 2009

I’m still picking myself up, and sometimes I fall back down.  Saturday was an awful day.  I don’t know if it is hormones, or just raw emotion, but I was so sad again.  I stayed inside and watched t.v.  I only wanted to see my husband.  I didn’t want to go out into the world where I would have to be confronted with babies and pregnant women–all those people who seem like they have it all. 

Yesterday was much better.  My husband and I spent a lot of time gardening and running errands.  Today I got an email announcing the birth of a friend’s baby.  And shockingly, I felt nothing.  No twinges of pain, no jealousy.  I just wrote back a congratulations e-mail.  Could it be that I’m actually recovering?

We went to the doctor on Friday.  We have a plan.  I have to wait until my HCG levels go back to zero, which could be a week, two weeks, three weeks…who knows.  After that I wait two weeks and then go on provera for five days.  After I get my period, I schedule a hysteroscopy.  And then if all looks good, I go on lupron for a month.  We then are going to transfer TWO embryos.  That’s what I wanted to do originally, but they wouldn’t let me.  We have ten frozen embryos.  I keep thinking that my babies are already conceived, I just have to wait a little bit  longer to bring them home. 

So, the hope is that by the end of the summer I’ll be pregnant again.  I’m not going to pretend that the days don’t go by so slowly, because they do.  I can’t wait until it’s August.  Tomorrow I go for another blood test.  My HCG level was 500 last week, so fingers crossed it has dropped a lot again.  Maybe by next week it will be back to zero. 

I’m just so sick of having my life consumed by infertility and miscarriage.  At this point, my biggest wish is that I get pregnant with twins, and have an uneventful pregnancy, and never have to deal with any of this pain again.  That would be a realistic goal for most of the population, but for me, and for all of us who are suffering with infertility, it’s still a pipe dream.

Today is Memorial Day.  It’s absolutely beautiful out, and my husband and I are goin g to go hiking.  Life really isn’t so bad…


Day 77

May 21, 2009

So, time is passing, as I knew it would.  I’ve been a lot better the last few days.  I’ve started working at my new job, so I’ve been trying to focus on that.  I had a hard time when the nurse called me on Tuesday to tell me that my HCG levels had dropped to 500.  It is good that they’re dropping, because I can’t move on until they do, but it was just also a reminder of what I lost.  Last time the nurse told me my HCG levels she was telling me how great they looked because they were rising, so my pregnancy looked healthy.  So much for that.

Anyway, I was  a little bit sad, but I took a deep breath and kept going.

My husband and I are meeting with my doctor tomorrow.  I assume he’ll tell us that we need to wait until my HCG levels go down to zero, and then we can talk about next steps.  Because I have so long to wait, I guess I’m kind of just trying to forget about everything for the moment.  It’s not like the next step in this process will be immediate.  I also have been thinking that we haven’t really been trying for that long.  We really started trying last August, and by October we were at the doctor figuring out a plan for IVF.  I went on the pill within the next couple months after that, and then was waiting for insurance approval, etc., before starting IVF in March.  So, maybe we tried for four months at the most on our own.  That’s not very long.  It just seems like forever.

I’m going to meet with the therapist again today.  This time I’m going by myself, since my husband is at work.  I think it will  be my last time going.  It will be good to talk through things one more time.  I haven’t really been talking to my family about it.  I think they think that I’m strong enough to just move through it myself.  I also think that maybe my mother doesn’t want to talk to me about it, since she had four miscarriages herself, and it is a painful subject (okay, I stole that thought from my husband, but I think he’s right). 

So, I’m still moving forward.  I’m STILL smoking.  Just a couple a day, but I really need to quit.  I do keep telling myself that in a couple of months I’ll have to quit anyway since I’ll be doing another round of IVF.  For now it really helps me to calm down.  It’s terrible, I know.  I feel guilty about it, but I also feel like it’s helping me to feel better.  I’m sure I’ll regret it when I get lung cancer…

Day 80

May 18, 2009

So yesterday was another horrible day.  I attribute it to the drop in hormone levels.   My husband and I went to Ikea to get a rug for my new office, and I just lost it.  There were so many babies there.  I fell into a deep spiral of despair.  It took me hours to get out of it.  I was just so utterly sad.  And I kept thinking that there was no way I could ever subject myself to this pain again. 

My husband got me out of it.  He is unbelievably amazing.  Other people may have children, but I have the best husband I could have ever hoped for.  He stayed with me, he talked to me, he soothed me, and by the end of the evening we were holding each other and dancing together.  It hit me at that point that no matter what happens, whether we have children or not, I will be okay.  I love being with him, and I love our lives together.

So, today I woke up, and started on my new job.  I have a ton to do. 

I’m still not totally happy, of course, but I’m functioning.  And at this point I think functioning is all I can hope for.

I have my first blood test tomorrow, which will undoubtedly show I still have hcg in my system.  But then I can go back in a week and I hope my levels will have dropped.  I’m meeting with my doctor on Friday.  I’m not bleeding very much anymore, so I hope he’ll say I’m recovering well.  And then it’s onwards to plan b.  I would LOVE to try naturally before we do IVF again, but I’m not going to compromise our timetable.  If my doctor wants to put me on birth control right away, I will go on it. 

That’s all for now.  I think the worst part of this is not knowing how I’ll feel ten minutes from now.  I could be fine for the rest of the day, or I could totally lose it.  I’m REALLY going to try not to.  I have a bunch of embryos waiting in the freezer for me.  I need to be ready to give them a good home!

Day 82

May 16, 2009

Yesterday I was not at my best.  It was my last day at my job, and the stress of that I think contributed to leading me into a downward spiral.  I kept thinking what was SUPPOSED to be.  I was supposed to be leaving my job and looking forward to my new life together with my child.  I was supposed to be really happy.  I was supposed to be thrilled.  And then I thought, having a baby is supposed to be a HAPPY event.  Not a traumatic event.  Not the worst thing that ever happened to me.  My husband lost me temporarily.  I wouldn’t let myself be recovered from my sadness.  I needed to wallow, and I did.  And today I’m sad too, and I’m still physically in pain and bleeding.  But I think I’m coming back.   I have to for my husband’s sake, and for my own.  It has been more than a week.  A week closer to my new pregnancy, I hope.  I do feel like I have to prepare myself for the fact that I may never have my own child.  That’s a very difficult thing to accept.

I have very little choice at this point.  Night turns into day whether I like it or not.  I have to keep breathing and stepping forward whether I like it or not.  This experience, and life in general, is not about whether I like it or not.   It just is what it is.

Late at Night (husband)

May 16, 2009

Sitting here late at night, I find myself detesting the thing – the event – the miscarriage that has for the moment taken my wife away from me. She is angry. She is raging. She is sad and pessimistic. She claims to have prepared herself already for not having kids, despite the fact that there is a great chance of suceeding next time. She cries. She despairs. She is unreachable. She wants to hit me. I got angry and threw something  at a door myself. Not necessarily because of my wife and her actions, more at where we find ourselves. I am so very tired. I feel so very helpless. But I will carry on the best I can and know that we will come through. I love my wife.

Husbands Thoughts 1.4

May 15, 2009

Moving on from the D&E process is hard. The hormones are playing havoc with my wife’s already tender and agitated emotions.  It is hard to know when she will shift and what she will think.  It is also hard to know what to say or to do. I often feel lost in a life-raft in a maelstrom.

If you have read my wife’s entries, you will see her mention the “exercise” study. She did very, very little exercise but she is starting to latch onto this as a reason for the “miscarriage.” There are so many environmental interior and exterior factors for it and just simple pure bad luck. I ache to hear her blaming herself for something so outwith her control. For something that was so not her fault. The hormones from the D&E are only making this worse. I hope my wife reads my entry so that she can know this. I know that it is hard for her. But she and I will move forward together.

I told my own parents what happened. I feel better for it. My own mother had a miscarriage and it was good to hear her recollections to it (vivid in her mind). My father was also very commiserating.

This last week has seemed liked years and we hope the next months seems like days.

Day 84

May 14, 2009

Today I got started on my new job–helping open a new store and helping my father run his commercial real estate.  It was good to have a new project to start on.

Yesterday my husband and I met with the therapist.  It was good to talk things over.  I was really looking for her to tell me that it was okay that I was moving on.  Everyone keeps saying it’s going to be so hard for so long, and I want to say, okay, I get it, I’m going to be in pain, but at the same time, I really did have an explosive session of grief.  I lost control of myself for a good twenty-four hours.  But then I came back, and I really think I’m moving forward.  She did say that that was okay.  There is no set path to this grieving process.  That was good to hear.  She also said most people couldn’t do what I did–which was to get it most of my grief out in one explosive session.  Not that I’m not going to keep being in pain, because I will, but it’s more a dull ache from time to time, as opposed to overwhelming pain.

Physically I have felt pretty bad over the last twenty-four hours.  I started cramping and bleeding really heavily last night.  I called the doctor on call, who said that it was normal, and actually it meant that my uterus was contracting back to normal size.  He said a great thing which was “hopefully this will all be over soon and you can move forward from this.”  I really needed to hear that, and it made me look at the physical symptoms in a positive way.  I have to go in on Tuesday for a beta to see where my hcg levels are.  Inevitably they will still be high, and I’ll have to go in after another week.  I feel like the two month waiting period will just be extended further and further…but who knows.  I’m meeting with my doctor next Friday.  I’m hoping he’ll say that I just have to wait for two periods.  If so, then I hope I’ll be able to go on provera in another couple of weeks to get my period, and then birth control so it will only be one more month after that before I get my period again.  If that’s the case, then maybe I’ll stay on the two month schedule.  I REALLY hope so.

I keep thinking about all of my frozen embryos (we had 16 embryos–and at least 10 of them they were going to freeze-but we haven’t gotten the official report since my doctor hadn’t bothered to have the embryos analyzed since I had been “successful”).  Anyway, my thought is that there are at least 10 (I hope) little embryos waiting for the chance to grow, and if I can get ready over the next two months to give them a good home, that will be great. 

I also keep telling myself that I’m getting through this and moving on for my future children.  I can’t get them (however I end up getting them, either by having them, or adopting) unless I’m strong enough to move on from this experience. 

In the meantime, I’m going to get my business going, and start eating healthier.  The one horrible thing I’ve let myself do during this grieving is smoke.  Not much, but after I’m done with the pack I bought on the day I found out about the miscarriage, then I’m done.  I’ll go back to being healthy.  I’m still concerned about working out.  The study my doctor told me about (which was done by Brigham and Women’s hospital–my hospital–and Harvard Medical School) showed that women who exercised more than 4 hours a week 1-9 years before doing IVF had drastically reduced success rates.  The article abstract is here: in case anyone is interested.  I’ve been an avid exerciser for years, and now I think all that time I thought I was doing the right thing, I wasn’t!  My plan is to start swimming after I’m healed from the D&E (two weeks from now).  I’ll also walk.  It will be a huge change from the running, spinning, lifting I used to do. 

That’s it for today.  Tomorrow it will be one week since I found out.  I feel like I’ve come so far in that one week.  I’m going to try to keep moving only forward…

Husband’s Thoughts 1.3

May 14, 2009

My wife and I have been up and down. Ice-cream and fries have helped.

The D&E was what it was and we had a mini-down after. The next day we went to a flea market fair and walked around in the sun. It was nice to hold her hand for pleasure and not with worry.

Later we met with a counselor. I was apprehensive, since i am the quiet, introverted type. As such, it was difficult to express an answer to any emotional questions posited. I was uncomfortable. My wife was worried I spent too much time worrying about, and reacting to, her than digesting my own reactions/feelings. She may be right, but she was incredible upset and I always try to be there for her.

To begin the pregnancy process again will be tough, but after going through this I feel embattled and fortified that come what may, we will ride the waves together.

It is a shame that men are not more expressive about their experiences of their own miscarriages directly and with experiencing their wife’s reactions.

Day 86

May 13, 2009

I’m back from my D&C.  I was really happy to get it over with so now I can move on.  I’m still doing okay, although I’m frustrated with having to wait two more months to start again.  Also, my doctor recommended that I don’t do the triathlon.  Apparently there was a study done that said that people who run (e.g., me), have a harder time getting pregnant/keeping the pregnancy when doing IVF.  That seems counterintuitive to me.  I would think that exercising would be good for you.  Anyway, I’ll just swim and bike instead.  I’m still determined to get back into shape before I start my next IVF cycle.

But, for today, I went to McDonalds for dinner.  I figure if I have to go through a miscarriage, I can enjoy fries and a shake without worrying about the calories.

Tomorrow we’re going to meet with the therapist.  I feel okay mentally, but I want to make sure I address all of the emotional pain before I move on.  I think it is a healthier thing to do than just moving on.

I have seen many pregnant woman/people with infants in the past few days, but surprisingly I haven’t been devastated by it.  It isn’t going to help me any if other people aren’t happy. 

I also have been getting comfort from the fact that my husband and I are managing to move on.  Undoubtedly we’ll experience more pain and loss in our lives, and it is great to know that we have the emotional resources to deal with it.

Tomorrow, as always, is another day.  I’m looking forward to it.

Husband 1.2

May 12, 2009

Today we went back to work. It was strange because most of my co-workers I did not tell. They went on like normal and I tried to go on as normal. In many ways I wanted to shout out “me and my wife went through a miscarriage.” I am not sure what I wanted with that thought. Recognition? Sympathy? I will have to ponder on it.

My wife and I were less frantic and I actually heard her laugh some. In many ways she is emotionally stronger than me. She is more expressive and more openly reflective. She may have bigger lows than me, but she always pulls through with a thoroughness I can only admire. She will have more lows, and I, but we are moving forward. Alas, we have to return to the same hospital tomorrow for the D&C. I am not sure how I feel about returning there. I am leery, but in the end it is merely another procedure that we will do and will go home together to watch some family guy.