What it’s Like to be Cast off the Island of the Fertiles

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, this tends to get me in a lot of trouble, but I want to share my thought process.

What it’s like to be cast off the Island of the Fertiles:

1. It’s a gut wrenching, soul shattering experience. There is nothing worse than to know that you are not like everyone else. There is nothing worse than to know that your body is not doing what it’s supposed to do, what it’s designed to do.

2. It’s lonely. You feel like the only one in the world with this problem. This disease. You feel like a leper, an outcast. You feel like you are looking in from the outside. You wonder if you will ever be allowed back.

3. It’s tiresome. There is nothing worse than to experience treatment after treatment, failed cycle after failed cycle. You barely live a life around monitoring appointments,  medications, blood work, having sexy time. It’s all reduced down to an endless schedule.

4. It’s full of waiting. You are constantly waiting. Waiting for AF, waiting to O, waiting to trigger, waiting to sex it up, waiting to inseminate. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Nothing but waiting.

5. It’s stressful. There is an innate pressure from being cast off. You want desperately be allowed back. You want to be whole, normal. You find you will do almost anything for a chance to be allowed back. You put your body through hell with no guarantee of anything.

You hope. You cry. You rage. You pray. You bargain. You beg. You start making deals with any deity that will listen. You start going slightly crazy. And, if you are somehow allowed back, you find you are forever changed. You realize that babies are not just made with a man and wife, but they are made with a man, wife, and doctors and nurses. Sometimes, they are made by strangers who graciously donated sperm or eggs or embryos. Sometimes, they are not made at all. Sometimes, you never got off the island,  just shuffled to a different part.

Advertisements

The Aftermath of the Dreaded Trigger….

I triggered on Saturday after two monitoring appointments. **Rant**I hate monitoring appointment b/c my girly parts are sore in there, and well, it’s uncomfortable!! **End Rant** I was told to trigger Saturday and we had to do “it” on Saturday and Sunday and Monday was “optional”. This is what I pay my doctor for, to tell me when to sex it up with hubby. Makes you want to jump on the infertility bandwagon, huh? So we triggered on Saturday with the shot in my tummy. I have said before how I hate needles, hubby gives me the shot. It doesn’t hurt until he pushes the medicine, the it’s like FIRE!! It burns like a tetanus shot. I have to take a benadryl before the shot b/c my reaction to it is more significant than most people. (Yet another reason that my body hates me).

Since triggering, I have felt more “off” than normal. My boobs are already slightly tender and I am bloated like a crazy person. Hubby thinks it’s a great sign. I know it’s not a great sign, it’s to early for signs. I think I have lost all hope for any of this to work. Part of me is thinking even if we go all the way to IVF, we will not get our rainbow. How did I become this callous person? When did the change happen? Granted, I have never been a super positive silver lining person, but I have always had a realistic outlook. Realistically, I have no hope anymore. I go into a cycle thinking it will fail. Perhaps it’s a protection mechanism. I dunno if I can ever handle another loss. The first one almost killed me literally and figuratively. That is a lot to swallow.

I think it is just the hits we keep taking. It’s hard on a “normal” couple, but add the stress of IF on top and it’s overwhelming. I really really REALLY need a vacation, but there is no rest for the weary in sight. Bleh. Life sucks right now, but I have to believe it can get better. It has to. Right?…

So….

Bet you are wondering why I chose this blog to be called How to be Infertile. Well, that is the formal name. The informal name is How my Body Catastrophically Failed Me. That is a bit more of a mouthful. So let’s get started. Here is some background on me and how I came to be infertile.

My story starts out like any other, girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, girl gets married. Easy, right? We get married and two, yes two weeks later, I have to go to the “big girl doc” that is my code name for the gyno. Don’t judge me. While, there he informs me he thinks I have endometriosis (endo for short). Talk about a blow to a girl’s ego! I didn’t even know what that was, but he left with the parting comment of if *ahem* intercourse ever hurts to come back to see him. Read a few days later, hubby and I are *ahem* enjoying being newlyweds when PAIN LIKE NEVER BEFORE CAUSES ME TO CRY OUT. This is not a cry of passion, people, this is a cry of gut-wrenching, epic proportions. I go back to the doc and one ultra sound (u/s) later confirms something I never thought would happen. I have cyst IN my right ovary. It’s big and it means surgery. Oh joy. Fast forward to surgery. There my doc discovers the endo (for sure) and removes a baseball sized dermoid from ovary. For those of you who are unsure how he got it out, he did a laparoscopy. This means that BASEBALL came out out THROUGH an inch slit in my belly button!!! (I won’t go into the recovery, just know it was loooonnnngggggg and painful.) At post-op hubby and I are told if we are going to have kids, it’s time to get on it b/c endo doesn’t play.

Fast forward some more and I make the brave decision to come off birth control. Birth control, to give some back ground, is to help prevent the growth of endo if it is low hormone. So, I am off BCP and hubby and I are officially “trying to get pregnant!” *Gulp! Four months I charted like a good girl, logged all my cervical mucus (CM), and told hubby when it was time to “do it”. Then a miracle happened, I got a positive test after I thought I had a period. Crazy, but hey, my body hates me. We were over the moon with joy! I literally danced around our bedroom while hubby stared at the test and repeated, “I’m gonna be  daddy” over and over.

I call my doc to set up an appointment and get betas drawn. We are about to go on our honeymoon (yes, we took one late). Doc sends us on our way with the congrats and have fun. U/s is scheduled for when we come back. We both count down the days while we are gone. We go in for the u/s on cloud nine even though I had been bleeding off and on. Very light bleeding and panicked phone calls reassured me that all was fine. So, hubby and I are in for u/s and doc and the tech are watching the screen in silence. Silence, not what you want when you are supposed to see your baby for the first time. Then, the words I will never forget as long as I live, “I see no evidence of a uterine pregnancy.” That is from my doc. Those few words broke me. I immediately started crying and told hubby I was sorry. Because somehow, it had to be my fault, right? I was supposed to carry our baby, protect him.I won’t go into the type of depression I slipped into. I will say that there are two things I know for a fact: 1. I didn’t know joy until I found out I was pregnant. 2. I didn’t know grief until we lost our baby.

Two weeks later and I am still bleeding and experiencing some sort of sharp pain on my right side. A call to the doc has me going in for another u/s. This time, they find a sac in my fallopian tube confirming I had a missed ectopic pregnancy. Cue all the tears and emotions all over again. Choices are given, surgery or methotrexate. I choose surgery b/c I have endo, while he is in there, he can check on it. Surgery day arrives, they have me do another pregnancy test. It’s negative. Pre-op and doc comes in, says that since my test was negative, it’s possible I have passed it on my own, I may not need surgery. But I know, I know something is wrong so I tell him to go ahead and do it. Surgery reveals an almost ruptured right tube with bleeding in my abdomen. Nothing like waking up to that and knowing that now you have missing parts. You aren’t “normal” anymore. You have to go back on BCP for three months to recover from this surgery (another LAP in less than a year) and keep the endo under control.

Moving along from that, and here we are. Hubby and I have been trying unsuccessfully since our loss. During this time, we found out I have Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and we were referred to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). Nothing like that blow to really make a girl feel good. Test after test reveal that our infertility is on my end. Again, with the blows to the ego. We are now onto medicated cycles b/c it has been determined that, while I ovulate, it’s not “good ovulation”. Apparently that is doctor speak for your ovary sucks. Since my first surgery, my left ovary has taken over all ovulation processes. So now I am completely dependent on Lefty (my left tube) to pick up the eggs. Daunting when you think about it.

So now you see, now you see why I can say how to be infertile. This was the story (albeit abridged) of how my body failed me in the course of two years.