November 23, 2013

Resolved

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me 36 or 37 times, shame on you.  No luck again this month.  It was easier having not had any false feelings of maybe it worked, but I can't honestly call it easy to see and accept.  My husband has been taking it harder lately, too.  I think his understanding of and faith in statistics has enabled him to be a little less fatalistic in the past, but the accumulation of monthly dashed dreams and an overriding sense of powerlessness weighed heavy this month.  The husbands get such little sympathy in the infertility and miscarriage domain.  True, they are not the ones physically undergoing treatments, but it has to be almost more difficult having even less to control and to do, all the while having to absorb the hormone rage storms without taking it personally.  I have a wonderful partner in my husband.  It may just end up being the two of us in this family of ours, and we have enough love and friendship to make that work if we end up there, but the flip side of our great relationship is wanting to have this man's baby--our baby--more than anything.  I know he will be the best father a child could have.  I so wonder what genetic combination and personality we could create, but I can't let myself go there anymore.

Having some time to process things, I am feeling so over fertility treatments right now.  With Thanksgiving next week, and the prospect of treatments interfering directly with that, along with getting the results (another negative?) right at Christmas, I just don't think I can take it.  Add to these concerns an insurance plan hiccup of having to go to a new plan December 1 and then the national plan January 1, and I just don't have the emotional and physical strength to endure additional hurdle jumping related to coverage on top of the regular stress.  Still pondering this, but I feel pretty much like taking the next cycle off will help me recover and build some strength to approach IVF.  What the f*#$?  I simply can't believe it's come down to IVF.  It shouldn't be a shock, but it is!  As of January 1, I will have the new insurance that covers IVF, and I will have to start jumping through the necessary hoops to get all that lined up and started.  Nothing to do but try to absorb that reality and control all the things I can control:

1) Lose the last ten pounds I've been battling the past six months.  Not doing treatments will allow me to focus on getting into a regular sleep pattern and back to regular exercise.  If IVF if the last frontier, I want to have no regrets about doing what I can do to help it along.

2) Try to embrace the holidays.  It is exceedingly difficult to accept that for yet another holiday season, we are still childless.  Every year I try to push through the sadness over this fact and ponder how next year it might different.  I can still say that.  Maybe next Christmas we will actually have a baby or a pregnancy.  We are not out of the running yet.  Plus I love Christmas.  I already have my cookie recipes lined up---some old and some new.  Can't wait to bake.  (Yes, incompatible with goal #1.)

3) Focus on just being a normal person in a normal marriage.  Without the drain of undergoing treatment, I can build up my emotional stores and be a more supportive wife.  I have had to focus on just handling myself so much, I can't say I've been supportive enough of the things my husband is going through lately.  My major depression the past few weeks hasn't helped, but I am doing better this past week.  Having a clear direction makes me feel more normal and less out of control.

4) Be grateful for all the wonderful things I do have.  I lose sight of this too much.

5) Keep making soups because this is my new wonder-talent.  The Thai soup broth turned out complex, spicy, and yummy.  I need some sort of sense of accomplishment, and if it must be in the domain of soups, I am ok with that. 


November 21, 2013

Anniversaries

Anniversaries usually carry positive connotations.  We mark our loving relationships and marriages as they progress, stopping to cherish a shared history of experiences and a mutual commitment.  Other dates carry more morbid connections.  My mom has always marked people's death dates on her annual calendar, as in "grandma died 2002" and such.  I often told her how depressing that was when I was younger.  Why do you want to keep track of bad things?  Weren't they bad enough already?  As I have gotten older, I can better understand her impulse to record not only birthdays and wedding dates but passings as well. 

November poses an emotional threat each year since both of my miscarried pregnancies were to be due in November around today's date (two years apart).  I can't help thinking about that today, but I do feel more calm about it than I do the "anniversaries" of the actual miscarriages: two dates I also carry around in my mental calendar despite not really wanting them there.

Tomorrow we plan to take a HPT to see if the past month's treatment may have worked.  I don't feel any real symptoms like I am pregnant.  That's actually a good thing because the supposed symptoms are always symptomatic of NOTHING.  So my week has been less fraught with desperation "to know" than other months.  I've managed to string together some fairly productive, positive days--a whole five in a row.  Today, not so much, but it was easier to be gentle on myself after I've at least been functioning on some improved level recently.  

One area I have thrived in since fall is soups!  I am sure there is some kind of nurturing meaning behind my obsession with making soups.  I've truly mastered French Onion Soup.  I don't give myself cooking compliments lightly, either.  Last week I made the perfect pot of it, and I kept saying, "man, this is freakin' awesome" as I devoured it.  I have all the ingredients for a Potato Parsnip soup for later this week, but tonight I am trying an Asian Thai soup recipe.  All day I've felt cold and in particular need of soothing.  The sun was nowhere to be seen in the sky today, and the temps are cold.  Mastering recipes feels like one miniscule thing I can control with enough effort and research.

Tonight is the last night before two paths diverge yet again--one line or two?  If two, well, I don't want to even go there.  If one, a recipe for homemade holiday sangria awaits on Pinterest.  Sad consolation, but I'll take what I can get.

November 17, 2013

MIA

Here comes the obligatory "sorry I've been gone so long" post :)  I've been in a major funk the last few weeks, and I've been using my limited bursts of energy to do more basic life functions like showering, feeding us, etc.  Well, not sure there is much in the way of etc. some of the time.  Been so so lethargic and tired in my legs and body.  We had to put our cat Zachary down a little over a week ago after the last three months of making him comfortable with a terminal illness.  Finally, we knew it was time, and we had to let him go.  I feel at peace with the decision but miss him so much.  He was a cat who converted me (dog person central) into being a cat person.  He would let me hold him like a baby in my arms and rock him and snuggle him!  Maybe it sounds lame, but with all the infertility stuff over these years, it was nice to have a warm, furry baby to rock.  I lack the words to eulogize him adequately.

We previously had two cats and two dogs, and now we are down to one of each.  I always thought Zachary would be the last pet standing in our elderly pet brigade, and I often imagined him as being the perfect cat for a baby.  I am incredibly sad he will not be around to welcome our imaginary future baby as I had always envisioned.  I am grateful for the almost five years I had with him as his adopted mom.  He welcomed me into his dad's life the first date I had at my husband's house way back when.  He came right over and crept into my heart almost right away.  It's just not the same without him here.


In the midst of finding out about his illness progressing, I was undergoing this month's treatment cycle.  Same shots of Bravelle, and my body seemed to respond slowly and steadily.  I had one fully mature follicle and two smaller almost full sized follicles the day I triggered.  Can't ask for more than that, really.  Also, because the insurance did not come through on the IUI for this month, we got a break from that part of the process, and what a nice feeling not to bother with that.  Both times we got pregnant before were the "old fashioned" way, actually, so it doesn't concern me to have missed out this month. 

I am getting to the last five days before I find out if anything worked, the days in the cycle I cannot seem to bear with grace and positivity, but I am feeling so numb about everything that I don't even know how I feel.  My hopes are not up.  The hormones have been affecting me more and more over the last weeks as far as mood swings and bursts of anger.  I am already stressing about what to do when this cycle fails.  Take one last stab at the injectibles/IUI while they are covered with insurance since we are past our deductible or just take a nice holiday sabbatical and prep for getting the IVF going in January once the new insurance kicks in?  I can't decide if I will feel relieved and happy with a month off or like I wasted a last, less invasive chance.  Of course there is no way to know if that chance is worth taking or not.  And the circular debate continues!  It's bizarre how much time you spend analyzing various scenarios that will never come to pass as an infertile. 

I've had a slightly more productive, less depressed weekend, hence this blog post.  I am feeling positive about getting a few things done, and I am hoping this will be a productive, less numb week for me.  Just taking it day by day, and today has been ok.