All is well

Two things:

  1. Hysteroscopy went off without a hitch. They said everything looks fine. No issues. And I was back at work in an hour and a half. Things have calmed down a bit at work and I feel like I can breathe again.
  2. DEB USA just sent me this: “…this email is to inform you that your shipment has been initiated.  Please allow two weeks (more or less) for your shipment to arrive at your practice, which will be on or by, 03/09/2017.” Eeep!

Ducks are getting in a row quite nicely now.

giphy-4

 

Hysteroscopy time

Work has been insane this week. Actually this whole month has. Last night I didn’t get home till after 8pm. 

Today we are finalizing a big financing deal that closes in three days, so it is all hands on deck to ensure everything gets signed off without a hitch. 

Naturally this is the perfect time to fit in my hysteroscopy appointment. At 1:30 today.  If I cancelled today I would likely have to wait till my next cycle (it has to be completed between days 5-12 of my cycle). If the results reveal some abnormality that needs to be taken care of then I will need more time to deal with that. So I think it is best to go ahead as planned and hope nothing comes up in the 2hrs I’m gone from the office. I will definitely need to go back in to work afterwards. And probably stay late tonight to catch up to all the other work that has taken a back seat to the financing deal. 

I let the president know I need to step out for a doctors apt. He’s normally pretty good about that as long as I give him notice. But it is a stressful time for him so who knows? 

Hopefully things will work out fine at work and the results of the hysteroscopy will come back all clear. 

#MicroblogMonday: Pre-(IVF)game rituals

Microblog_MondaysApart from the obvious incessant googling of every single thing that can go wrong, I am thinking I need to have some sort of ritual that is just for me and to help me prepare for the challenging summer I am about to have.

Of course with the expense of this cycle I need to come up with ideas that are budget friendly. I would have loved to have had one more getaway before we are in the thick of it. But we just had a pretty luxurious vacation in Hawaii in January so we are all tapped out for vacation funds for a while. Plus I need things that can occupy me until April.

So what can I do to help mentally and physically prepare myself for my first real IVF cycle? Ideas welcome.

For starters since I will likely go through a lot of physical changes (hopefully the good pregnancy kind, but definitely the yucky hormonal weight gain that comes with the excessive quantities of estrogen), I have decided to start wearing all my tight sexy outfits for the next few weeks while I still can. I have been taking good care of myself and feel healthy and look good. So why not flaunt what I got while I still have it? I am sure I will have opportunities to get my sexy on afterwards too, but I know that during the process the thought of putting on that pencil skirt, tight dress or even tucking in a shirt for work will just not be as appealing so I will take advantage now while I still feel good about my body.

And then there is the usual being healthy stuff.

I work out regularly. Lifting weights to build strong muscles, and will start training for another 10k run that both DH and I will (hopefully) do in May. That will also help with the above looking sexy bit, for a little while at least. And I just feel so much happier when I am working out regularly. It is a great way to clear my mind and just focus on the moment. I also find I eat healthier if I have been working out. So continuing more of the same until I have to stop for medical reasons.

I want to start getting into a regular yoga routine at home. I am a certified yoga teacher, but I stopped teaching last year due to scheduling issues and a heavier workload at work. I would at the very least like to start getting back into the routine of my own practice. I probably wont look for another teaching gig for a little while, but I do want to start researching some fertility yoga poses and perhaps build my practice around that over the next few months. This one is a bit more challenging as when I get home I am just so exhausted that all I want to do is veg in front of the TV. But I will try to push myself to at least start stretching in front of the TV a few times a week.

Speaking of, I love my weekly TV escapes. Monday night Bachelor is a must see for me. I just love watching the crazy every week. I even have DH hooked (even though he claims it is so stupid, and it is). Perhaps I can make it a Monday night Bachelor and yoga practice? Walking Dead is also back now, and Game of Thrones is right around the corner. Lots to look forward to. It is nice to be able to escape from thinking about IF 24/7.

I think this will all help me to stay sane before we are full speed ahead. Any other ideas?


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The Therapist.

We had our mandatory therapy appointment yesterday. 

 It was not too bad. I tried to go in with an open mind. But I’ve never been to a therapist before so it’s hard not to be open minded about something I’ve never experienced. It’s all new to me. 

AG has needed therapy to deal with his exam anxiety so I guess he might have had a bit more to go on. But still this was an entirely new experience for us. 

That being said, and even though this was ‘forced’ upon us since we are using donor eggs, I can see the value in it. 

She was nice enough. She asked some tough questions and brought up some good points that we will likely discuss more going forward. Most had crossed my mind before. But AG was surprised by a few thing he had not considered. A few even stumped me. But overall it was a good session. And we have some further areas to explore as a couple. 

Some things that we need to discuss further:

How and when we will tell others about our DE IVF journey. 

I am already thinking about this on a daily basis. AG doesn’t have as much of an issue with it and is ready to tell everyone now. I am not so sure. I just need to decide when will feel right for me. 

One thing we haven’t really discussed is what we will do if we are so lucky as to have embryos left over from our lot that we will not use. Honestly I don’t think this will ever happen. I think we are more likely to use all of them and wish we had more to keep trying. But that being said there are some serious considerations if we are in that position. And especially if we do decide to donate to another couple. DH seems ok with donating. But I’m not convinced yet. Especially if we have any children from this lot. How will a future child feel about having other siblings out there?

This is already complicated by the fact that our egg donor has two children of her own and potentially two that have come from her egg donations. So a total of four half genetic siblings may already exist. That is going to be stressful enough for any future children. Let alone allowing a few more to exist through embryo donation. 

Another issue we both need to discuss is what we will do in case there is a risk that the child may be born with a disability or developmental issues. Or what if there is a risk to my life.  What if we have multiples? Triplets for example. Would we choose to selectively reduce to reduce the risk to all? These are things we have discussed. The chances of multiples are reduced since we will only be transferring one embryo at a time (mandated by the government on a funded cycle). But it is not impossible. 

I am already freaked out by the thought of carrying multiples. I don’t think my already weak uterus will be able to handle it. So I am positive I will be more than upset if we end up with multiples. But these are decisions we need to discuss now.  

Apparently, the risk of post partum depression is higher in mothers that use a donor egg. So both of us will need to be on the look out for that. That is news to me and I will be sure to tell all my family to watch out for that if and when the time comes. 

One thing that I thought was actually quite funny was that neither of us agreed on the number of kids we wanted. It makes sense though. We both have been prepared for zero children. So we never really talked about how many children we wanted. It just didn’t make sense. But I feel like that is one of the most basic things most couples talk about. 

He said 2. I said as many as I can. My theory is that, if through some miracle I am able to carry a baby to term, I am not going to stop until we have exhausted our embryo lot. That being said, when I thought about it some more, I think after 4 kids I might not be as inclined to continue. Plus we would have to consider my health, our ages and financial ability to even support that many children. So I guess there is a limit to what I want too. But honestly I would be ok to stop at 2 if we are so lucky. For now though just one will be plenty. Thank you very much. 

I did get a bit emotional talking about our situation in general. I am starting to realize that I am more bothered by my infertility than I previously thought. It always takes me by surprise. And I will probably have many more bouts of crying before we are done. 

Overall it was a pretty productive conversation. And I think it really did help AG and I to start thinking about the future and how things could change for us. I am definitely looking forward to discussing this some more with him. 

#MicroblogMonday: Telling the parents

Last week I told my parents we are about to enter the IVF world. At the time I had not had the conversation with my sister so it was still up in the air whether she would donate her eggs or not.

First I should set things up.

My mother is your standard overbearing protective mom that basically wanted nothing more in life than to have a house full of children. She herself suffered from a few miscarriages through her life, and ended up with three children, which deep down I feel she still wishes she had more. Now of course she wants a house full of grand kids to make up for it. It doesn’t help that all her friends have several grand kids and many of them are school age now, so it probably makes her feel like she is left behind the pack.

So to my mom, the minute any of her children got married, it was a constant nagging about kids. Even with me. She knows my situation. Medically I cannot have children without some serious intervention. But she is constantly asking, what about adoption, so and so had a kid with IVF, so and so is adopting from X etc. I have told her that we are happy as we are and just not having kids and leave it at that. In her mind, being childless is not a choice that a person can be happy with. It is something to be sad about. So she is sad about it for me. I feel pity in her eyes every time she sees me interact with anyone’s baby. It is infuriating.

My dad is not a very empathetic person. He is all practical and logical all of the time. A bit of an extreme example: When one family came to him to ask for advise about their 2 year old son who had the same blood disorder that I was born with. My father told them that they needed to go forward with the bone marrow transplant treatment. When they expressed concerns about the risks and the chance that their son could die. He said ‘you are a young couple, you can always have more’.  Of course he did acknowledge that in this case the procedure provided them a chance of drastically improving their son’s life, so it was worth the risk. But still. It was pretty insensitive thing to say to an already emotional couple. That’s my father. Abrupt and to the point, almost to the point of being insensitive. This has lead to many an argument between him and myself. And I tend to be hurt very easily by his words.

I know my parents well and it all went down as expected:

I start by telling them that the government is now providing funding for one IVF cycle and DH and I will be going forward with that in 2017. We will be using a donor egg for our cycle. I tell them I have asked my sister to donate her eggs, but if not then we would use an egg donor from an agency.

My dad’s response: “Why don’t you just use your mother’s eggs?”  Ummmm… because she’s post menopausal and probably is all dried up?!

My actual response: “It is recommended to use a donor who is under 30″

My mom’s response: ” Oh great! you know so and so had a baby with IVF this year. What about starting the process for adoption too?” Thanks but so and so’s problems were probably different from mine, and just because it worked for them doesn’t mean it will work for us. Also I have told you a million times before I am not going down the adoption road. I am not ready for that.

My actual response: “Oh that’s nice. No we will not be adopting. I don’t want to do that.”

And we left it at that.

I am sure I have not heard the end of it though. My dad will likely start reading up on IVF and tell me how medically unsafe it is, and all the possible complications that could result. My mom will continue to hound me about adoption and relay anecdotal stories about how it has worked for someone or other, likely gleaned from her various friends that she most likely is telling about my IVF experiences as well. She has no filter and keeps a secret like a colander holds water.

Next up. Telling the in-laws. 😦


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Plan B

She said no.

Met with my sister and her husband last night to discuss the reality of egg donation. Both are not 100% ready to commit to this (as I suspected) and can’t agree to go through with this right now.

My sisters reasons are that she cannot get over the hurdle of her egg and AG’s sperm coming together. She says things changed after she had her son and now when she sees herself or her husband reflected in their child it means something to her. To be able to see herself in another person’s child would be too difficult for her. From her husband’s perspective their imam advised against it as well. They both support our decision to proceed with DE IVF and will support us along the way, but she does not feel comfortable being our egg donor. So that is that.

I’m not surprised by their response. And I am a little relieved that my sister will not have to go through all the drugs and doctor appointments just for me. It feels like the right decision for all of us. I know AG has expressed some of the same concerns as my sister about a baby coming from her egg and his sperm. I guess it feels weird to them. And that makes sense. It is not how I see it. But I have had to live with being egg-less for 20 years now so I guess I think differently than they do. Still, I respect their feelings about it.

For some reason though last night was a trigger for me. The flood gates opened up as I talked with them. I didn’t plan on crying. But I couldn’t stop it. I haven’t really cried about this in a long time. I think the last time I had a good cry was when I was 16 and mourning the loss of my genetic eggs. Then again I felt a little something when my nephew was born. But I thought I was over it. I had accepted and moved on.

But it all came back last night. I guess it is never really something you get over completely. I am lucky enough not to have experienced any major loss in my life. My family are all still alive and close. But I imagine what I feel now is something like what it must feel like to loose a loved one. Only this is a completely hypothetical person that never came to be. So why does it still feel like a big gaping hole in my heart twenty years later? Her saying no made it final. I will not have a genetically related child. All last hope of that is done. Now I feel like this loss is not something I will get over ever. It is just something I will learn to live with and will continue to live with for the rest of my life, and every once in a while it will surface again to haunt me.

It’s that little twinge of something I feel in my heart when I see my sister interacting with her son knowing I will never do that. When all my cousins and friends are planning and organizing activities for their children most of which I am not invited to because I don’t have a child to bring to the festivities. When I watch these children growing all around me, and when they will start to marry and have families of their own. When DH and I grow old and have no one to look after us or ask about how we are doing. That feeling of happysadafraid. I take those feelings and box them up and lock them away somewhere inside my mind. I tell myself it is fine and I am making the best of what I have. I am not ungrateful for what I have. I have a great husband. I love my work. I have the funds to be able to travel, shop for ridiculously overpriced purses, and generally enjoy my life. But I guess every once in a while that little box in my head opens up and I have to deal with this dark cloud hanging over my head once again.

I barely slept last night. The dark cloud hanging over me. I couldn’t shut my brain off. I will need to find a way to box it up again. But for now I am on the verge of tears every five minutes. No idea why. Maybe it is just that everything is just happening so fast now. Making a final decision the DE route we are taking. Starting IVF for real this time. I am afraid of what 2017 is going to bring for us. And I am afraid of the potential losses that I am going to have to suffer. I know I shouldn’t dwell on things that haven’t happened yet. But I cant help it. It is my way of protecting myself from being hurt later. Just feel hurt now and maybe it wont hurt so bad later, and best case scenario I will be pleasantly surprised.

So we move to plan B which is finding an unrelated egg donor. I have already started looking up various agencies and starting to plan for that. Hopefully it will not be too difficult to make the switch from a related ED to an unrelated one. I am hoping to have a known donor, so that we can at least be sure of the genetic background and any other potential siblings that might be out there.

One thing my sister said last night that keeps echoing in my mind: “don’t feel like you are alone in all this”. The more I think about it though, the reality is that I am alone. I understand her sentiment. She wishes to support me as much as she can and wants me to be able to talk to her about it. And I will. I don’t plan on keeping what I am going though a secret. But what I feel, how I react. That really is all me, alone in my head. I can talk about it, but it is not something that can be shared. Because the reality is that whatever I am experiencing she cannot even begin to understand how it feels. I will continue to be happysadafraid for the rest of my life and I don’t think that will every change. I will just get better at living with it.

 

Happysadafraid

Got a pretty interesting email this evening:

“Our records indicate that you were scheduled to start your funded IVF cycle on or after December 4, 2017. We have a unique opportunity to expedite your cycle, subject to approval of your physician and completion of all outstanding tests and appointments, if any. We have a limited number of openings in December, January and February – the next three months.”

Apparently things are not going to be as expected for 2017. It looks like my fertility clinic is working to shorten the wait list for a government funded cycleI don’t know why but along with being excited, I am feeling really anxious, scared and kind of sad. I cant explain but I feel both happy and sad at the same time.

There is still a lot to work out. What is my new cycle date? Will that work for my sister (she wasn’t planning on weaning her son till March/April 2017? What if she changes her mind? Will I have time to find an egg donor from an egg donor bank?

A short message that said a whole lot.