July 31, 2014

Snail Mail

Somebody in my online IVF support group suggested we do a lucky sock exchange, sort of a secret Santa where you are randomly assigned a name in the group. Then you send that person a pair of lucky socks for her upcoming cycle, egg retrieval, embryo transfer, or daily wear :) What a positive project in the midst of a lot of negative energy around me. Today I got my delivery of socks in the mail, all the way from Portland, Oregon, containing not one but two pairs of socks, along with some lip balm and an encouraging note. I have been checking the mail box excitedly every day lately, waiting on my surprise, and I couldn't have been more pleased with the socks.

More than the "luck" the socks contain, they bring the knowledge that so many others out there are going through this crap. It has meant the world to connect with these intelligent, kind, thoughtful women from around the country (as well as one Australian member). Since meeting for coffee or lunch is not really possible, the socks are a tangible way to feel the support that all members of the group are sending out to each other all the time.  Maybe I will just keep rotating these back and forth every day for the next four weeks to make it through the cycle? 

As for me, I was lucky to get the name of a woman in the group who had become pregnant right after I had in March, and who then miscarried right after I got the bad news that my baby had stopped developing. She is in the subset of women in our group (myself included) who got pregnant and lost pregnancies over the past three months.  Sadly, there are actually five of us out of about twenty whom that happened to! I sent her a pair of symbolic socks--yes, my English teacher is showing but I couldn't resist.  

The colors are crazy intense, but this beautiful Phoenix rising from the ashes felt so right. Recovering from miscarriage, yes, but recovering from the monthly fiery crashes we face over and over again as we keep trying. We emerge anew from our own ashes, perhaps not fully formed or unscorched, but definitely forever changed and stronger for surviving the latest inferno. I wish I could send these socks to everyone going through a new cycle after the repeated failures in the past. I wish all of you could get a package of these in the mail from a friend who is thinking of you and sending you her support and love.

July 25, 2014

Moving Forward

For insurance and advanced maternal age reasons, it is time to get back on the infertility hamster wheel.  I continue to feel ambivalent, bitter, angry, burned out, and many other negative things, despite trying to stay positive and remind myself of good things. I realize that I am more motivated by wanting to get everything resolved than by wanting to be a mom. That is how far things have gone for me. The thought that makes me happy is just being done with all of this either way. I want closure, and I want to move forward and out of infertility treatments.  The years of limbo have taken a psychological toll on me. I have only limited coping skills. I want this cycle to work so that I don't have to debate next steps, another cycle, or past mistakes.  I am trying to be okay with this reality. I do not 100% trust my feelings or perspective on things.  As I've stated many times on here in the past, I just desire to take a year off from trying to get pregnant in any fashion and just live my life--whatever that would look like--for a whole year without even pondering how my choices impact fertility or childbearing.  I am so all over the place. I hate how bitter, cynical, and confused I am feeling, but I guess it has to be considered normal on some level.

We got back from vacation last week--back to the reality of an overwhelmingly stressful situation with my husband's job of epic proportions and back to getting all the ducks lined up for my upcoming fresh IVF cycle with PGS (genetic screening). I have been on BCP for a few weeks and finish those on Monday. I have my first office visit on Tuesday morning for a baseline to check on everything before starting the shots. If that goes smoothly, I start taking shots one week from today. As with each cycle, there are several balls to juggle and last minute issues that threaten things working out. There are more papers and forms to fill out to make the PGS happen, as well as a phone consultation meeting. There's a new pharmacy to work with in order to get a discount on the PGS, so that is in process. There's a realization from the clinic just today that I should have had a mammogram on file in order to make the cycle happen since I am now 40.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring? There is always a chance they will spot something at my baseline like a cyst or a problem that will delay things, too.  I am trying very hard not to go insane wondering how I will respond to this cycle--how many follicles, how big, how many eggs retrieved, how many fertilize, etc. I keep telling myself that I will know all in a few short weeks and that worrying won't make anything happen any differently.

I do feel lucky to have my online support group--really a group of close friends at this point--in my corner going into IVF #2. They have been with me through IVF #1, the loss, and the wait.  Several of the group members miscarried just after I did and are also getting back into the fray with a cycle now or next month, and it makes me happy to see us all rising from the ashes together. During my vacation I was actually able to meet two of the group members for dinner and drinks one night. We each drove 1.5 hours, and it was such a wonderful experience. It was like meeting up with high school or college friends I hadn't seen in years. We just had the best time, and I had to feel very lucky to have found these new friends who feel like long lost old friends.