My BUTT HURTS!

At what point do you get used to progesterone injections? 

My docs want me to do it for 12 weeks… (Not including this preparatory stage.)  I did them before for 4 weeks with my fresh transfer, but I guess the mind is truly a miraculous thing when it comes to pain, because I seem to have forgotten how dreadful these things were. 

It’s impressive because my tolerance for pain is ridiculously high. I was living with incredible pain from my endo but it had become so common place I learned to “deal.” So when my doctor went in for the endo surgery she was shocked to find stage 4 severe. She said to my husband right after my 4 hour surgery “I don’t know how she was living with this much pain.” 

So the fact that these injections hurt this much means they are absolutely 100% dreadful. I know women say they’ve been brought to tears by them, and I’m not there, but they hurt all day. That isn’t even an exaggeration. 

Even when I stopped the injections after my chemical loss, with the fresh transfer, I had lumps in my butt for well over a month. The discomfort seemed unending!!!! 

Now that I’m back at square one with these, I can see what people push for the suppositories… But they don’t want me to use them until at least 9 weeks. So why not just go for broke? 

But SWEET MERCIFUL LORD!!! There has to be a better way!

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To Shave? Or Not To Shave?

To shave or not to shave?

The untold story of infertility… 

I have super sensitive skin and I’m a fan of completely no hair around my vulva. (Preference is preference.) 

Ultimately the sensitive skin presents challenges. It seems that no matter what I do I end up with razor burn 2-3 days after… And I’ve tried everything. Literally everything to avoid this… (Including hemorrhoid witch hazel wipes, which are the best bet). 

Anyways… Razor burn is just about as attractive as having a full bush in the bedroom. Plus, I feel weird in both cases. 

So in a completely normal space of time I go completely bare and then let it grow out ever so slightly (rinse repeat).  

However, when your told NOT TO HAVS SEX AT ALL during IVF your less inclined to shave until it becomes a necessity. 
Though I don’t enjoy feeling like a wolverine… It’s just with everything going on you sometimes feel like “fuck it…” There is nothing sexy about IVF. 

And when you have to follow the insane sensitive skin routine I do, far less inclined to give a shit about it. 
So I try to walk the line between “OMG” and “Yey!”

This week was a little too “much” for me, I’ll admit, but hey, it was just the ultrasound.  

Knowing my FET is next week I decided to postpone until Saturday so it had a little time to spazz out with the burn and a small amount of hair to grow back by transfer time 
I may be partial but I think I have a relatively attractive vulva/vagina… As far as vulva/vagina’s go. As a general rule I think reproductive organs are pretty ugly… Useful. But ugly. I also know I’m all around “small” and they have to go out of their way to find a small speculum for me… Which is funny because one day during my mock transfer they had to use the large speculum for one woman, and the small one for me within the space of a few hours. My point there is, I don’t like to look like I don’t maintain my vulva… Although I’m sure the doctors and nurses have seen EVERYTHING ALL DAY EVERY DAY! LoL

I guess it’s vanity that compels me. 
Anyways… I shaved yesterday, giving my body some healing time before my actual doctor is shoving a catheter into my cervix and hopefully inserting my “human seed.” 
I doubt I’m the only Shakespearean “To shave or not to shave…” out there. We talk about everything else… Not so much hair. What’s your routine with the docs visits?

Just a GENERAL FYI- I am perfectly comfortable with my body. It is a personal preference of mine to shave. It’s not due to society, I am an non-conforming gendered female. I am simply more comfortable without hair. Please don’t try to degrade me for your decisions or ASSUME I am uncomfortable with my body because I like it to look a certain way. Don’t try to push any “agenda” on me. You like it one way, I like it another. Let’s leave it at that, shall we?

I am not excited.

Where did my life go? Seriously. Where did it go?

Oh yeah… The endless pursuit of a child. 

Being responsible doesn’t always pay off, kids. You try to focus on establishing your life and get settled in your career… But in the end you only get a good paying job to pay for the fertility treatments you are going to end up needing.  

Sorry, “Debbie downer” today. I just feel… Punchy.

I also started my progesterone injections (which are just as awful as I remember) under the guise of my FET on Wednesday. But I refuse to be excited… Because my psyche is not going to survive another loss. Full or chemical. I think If I ever get pregnant I will walk around like I’m carrying the new messiah for 9 months… Fearing losing it. 

I wonder when you get past the fear of MC? Even knowing that everything was screwed up inside of me, and that my remaining eggs in my ovaries are less then normal. It doesn’t make it easier. It doesn’t make me less stressed or worried. 

So I’m not excited. I can’t be. If it happens it happens. I am so tired of disappointment. 

That being said, I think the circumstances are “in our favor.” My body can GET pregnant, and now we know that the 2 frozen embryos are “normal.” My lining looks great, and the gigantor cyst on my left ovary went from “cats eye” size marble, to normal size marble. My body is ready.  

But I’m still not excited. And I think that’s probably weird. 

Because Why The F*ck Not? 

Last week during my baseline they found that my left ovary had regrown the cyst. In the 2 months since my surgery the f*cker had grown back! The worst part, I KNEW IT! I felt it weeks ago and I knew it was back. My husband convinced me it was in my head, like a phantom limb after all these years. So I ignored the pain of it again. It wasn’t until I was laying on the table with the glorious ultrasound probe inside jabbing my cervix that the asshat reappeared on the screen! The clinician said “Wow! That’s a gigantic cyst you go there on your left ovary!” 

The Moment before I had joked about how my left ovary was the main “trouble-maker.” 

Now I was back to “What?!” 
Just what I needed, right? 
The clinician assured me it was “okay” for what we were doing, and then she went on to explain my next set of instructions… I know I didn’t really hear her although I nodded my head like a bobble head. 
It wasn’t until she touched my arm comfortingly that I quietly asked if she was sure about the cyst… I assume she saw the concern on my face she because she smiled softly and said she would review with my doc (who luckily was in that day). I let out a relieved sigh and thanked her profusely. 
For the next few hours I sat around in limbo waiting for the doctor to call to tell me whether they were going to cancel my FET cycle. Then all these strange thoughts came unbidden to my mind… I started to panic about whether it would burst while I was pregnant, if I did actually get pregnant… Do I keep going? Do I stop and go back under to get the cyst removed? How about the whole ovary? Stupid lefty isn’t really responding to STIM well anyway. Get rid of it! 
Luckily that afternoon when I got the normal bloodwork/medication call the doctor said it was okay to keep my medication going and that these cysts often “resolve on their own.” Which is comforting… Except the other one was growing in there for 20 years. I guess the main difference is this one appeared to be full of blood from the ultrasound, not tissue and yuck. 
Having surgery again would mean another month of recovery… Another month before I can move forward again. It also took a ridiculous amount of time to recover… To be fair, I had stage 4 severe… And my colon was glued to my pelvic wall with endo… It was a 4 hour surgery instead of the hour and a half it should have been. Of course, recovery wasn’t quick! At some point I started to believe I would always be this way now. Then one random day I stretched and it didn’t hurt. So I stretched a little further and suddenly I realized I was “normal” again. I had finally “recovered.” 
I should also reaffirm the fact that I also went straight into IVF so my body didn’t have a break. I don’t have a lot of eggs left (let alone good eggs) so I wanted to get what I could out. I figured why not let everything heal at the same time as the surgery recover. My mentality was: If I’m traumatizing my insides, let’s just do it all at one time. It meant I was in WAY MORE PAIN then the average IVF cycle… My ovaries were screaming! I started to talk to other women waiting for their ultrasounds/bloodwork and they would be like “Nope… No pain…” It made me crazy! LoL -Of course the one had stage 1 endo and PCOS, so her STIM was a lot let then mine. I however was responding to STIM so well on the ovaries that I had to start Cetrotide really early to stop my eggs form popping out. In fact, one still did, but that’s because left ovary is a piece of crap. 
Anyways… ALL OF THIS got me to thinking… If I get pregnant, IVF is considered high risk the whole time. If I ended up with a C-Section I could lobby to get my left ovary out at the same time. 

I mean, if they can tie tubes during a C, I think they can take one out! Right?
It’s especially appealing because when I’m just doing the Lurpon injections I feel like a normal human. Not that I’m considering a sex change anytime soon (as a gender nonconforming female I support all gender choices), but I rather enjoyed not having any estrogen. I am now honestly looking forward to menopause! 

And if I got one ovary out that would cut down on my estrogen dramatically… And the growth of my endo (which the doc told me is probably growing back as we speak… And by the growth of the cyst in going to agree). 
I’ve also considered the idea of the Lupron protocol for my endo treatment. I was on BC for 18 years… Which apparently didn’t do a whole lot to delay the progress of my endo. 
Other new and interesting things: 

With this first FET cycle I’ve been dealing with a lot of bullshit. Mainly my period starting a whole week late. And I honestly didn’t realize how batshit I get when I take Estrace. Estrogen makes me nutso. I’ve taken to warning people of my hormones instability… And I’m not even at the full dose yet. AND we haven’t added the progesterone which tends to make me weepy. Angry and weepy is going to be fun.  
I can still feel left ovary making a scene. I will be curious to see if it got any bigger on my ultrasound next week. Right now it’s just the aching that shoots up into my lungs and makes it difficult to breath. That should ease up with the end of my period… 

I guess we will see. 
The moral of the story kids: You know your own body! If something doesn’t feel right tell your doctors! 

Infertility Is Not One Size

Infertility is not one size fits all.

I have endometriosis that ruined my tubes and ate up my eggs. Someone else I know has PCOS. Someone else I know has a weak cervix. The list goes on and on… 

Infertility doesn’t come in the same flavor or size. People need to stop making blanket statements about it.
Whenever someone gives me their crackpot advice it takes strength of will not to rip off their head and drink their blood… (And with fertility meds I do believe that possible at times.) 
Some of the most shitty advice I frequently get: “Be careful! I know someone who did IVF and then got pregnant naturally later!”
Good for them, I can’t begrudge them for their luck. Sometimes the body just needs help figuring out how to do it. I’ve heard these stories too… But they did do IVF for a few rounds before they had any success. They had an IVF baby first. That still shows the worth of IVF. 
HOWEVER, my body is not the same. My body is “broken” for lack of a better word. Natural conception would most likely kill me. Three of my losses have been presumed ectopic because my tubes are so narrow and twisted nothing can get down them. My shitty old doctor didn’t do their due diligence before I switched to a fertility clinic (if your patient calls you and says “I’m pregnant and in a tremendous amount of pain” you should PROBABLY SEE THEM IMMEDIATELY!), so we will never know for sure… But because of what they found inside during my surgery, it’s safe to say that’s what happened. My uterus itself is fine. I can GET pregnant. For heavens sakes, I’ve done it 4 times. -Keeping it, however, is another story… Mainly because of its location “my ovaries/tubes” as not a good place to implant… But also because I have low ovarion reserve and the remaining eggs are statistically high for abnormalities. Luckily, the two remaining embryos (out of 5) we have in the freezer have both been tested and are genetically sound. I am HOPING that now that they’ve been tested we will have success on this FET. (I will still have CVS done to make sure nothing bypassed the first round of testing…) 
If it goes wrong this time we may have to explore the possibility that my body treats pregnancy as an infection. Hopefully we won’t have to cross the bridge of reproductive immunology, but it’s a possibility I live with. 
Without IVF I would never be able to have children because I have to put my embryos in backwards (through my cervix) because they can’t make it down my tubes. 
I wish people would spare me their uneducated advice about MY body.
I especially love when people know better then doctors.

I understand this is not easy for other people to understand, but acting like IVF is some ridiculous alternative I have CHOSEN instead of having normal sex makes me want to scream! Of course I want to spend ridiculous amounts of money to have no sex and stick needles in myself daily rather then enjoyable intercourse! 

My infertility is personal. It’s mine. Everyone has their own type of infertility. That’s why each clinic designs a protocol based on each individual patient. 
Lucky for me, I have some great friends who have been there for me even when they didn’t know what to say or do… They sat silently listening, offering encouragement, and even grieved with us when we lost another one.
In conclusion: 
It’s likely that you know someone with infertility. It’s 1 in 8. Be supportive. Don’t say asshat things. I would recommend a shoulder to lean on, not a mouth full of bullshit. 

Stolen.

Stolen
. I was reading an IVF success story a friend had passed along my way yesterday, and the woman who had shared her story wrote that “infertility steals who you are.”

It wasn’t until that moment that I realized it. 

Infertility does steal who you are. It steals your body and changes it. It complicates your emotions. It hijacks your hormones. It makes every moment of your life seem like a tiny little hell hole that only you exist in. 

It’s not just sweat you are feeling falling from your skin in this race, you are literally breaking apart. Little pieces of you break off with each hurtle you jump. 

Every moment, every single moment something gets lost. And you cope with it like it never existed before. What choice do you have? 

I feel like my life is measured in doctors appointments. I’m always waiting for the next ultrasound/blood work/surgery. You live in a world of “worst case scenarios” because it can and always does get worse. 

Meanwhile, through all these doctors visits, ultrasounds, and surgeries I ruin special moments for my friends and family. I can’t go dress shopping for my friend’s wedding because I’m lying on the couch on mandatory bed rest. With any upcoming social events I have to gauge what I can and can’t do with what the new cycle might bring, and usually that means a days and sometimes hours notice. I even have to carry my medication with me in a lunchbox because I’m tethered to a schedule. Sometimes I have to inject myself in a public restroom, which feels a lot like a drug addict. 

I have reminders set on my phone to take medication at all sorts of strange hours. 

To make matters worse every time I take Estrace I become a homicidal maniac. What’s with that? 
I took a walk at lunch today and I had to decide whether it was worth it. A walk. Something I used to routinely do… But lately I haven’t (mainly because I physically couldn’t walk -or even bend/stretch for that matter). But I know I shouldn’t be changing my routine too much right now… I know another round of bed rest is on its way. 

The reality is that most of the time I’m like a human slug these days because of my body. I just don’t have the energy. Infertility steals your energy.

Does it get easier? No. You just get used to it. 
It’s like being kidnapped and held hostage by your own body. 

But even so… I am hoping that what was stolen can be replaced with bigger and better things.

Every single moment of this makes you stronger. You will survive and it will surprise you how well you do it. Every hoop you jump through makes the next one easier. You start to expect them. You have to keep pushing. You have to keep taking steps. I know what this reward is, and it’s worth the path littered with the broken pieces of the soul you have left behind along the way. 

Infertility steals who you are, but that’s what a good insurance policy for. 

The Tale of the Killer Hotdogs

I came across an majorly unscientific article about “Killer hot dogs!”
The premise was that hot dogs cause childhood leukemia.

What a load of garbage. Propaganda designed for the weak minded to start some new “clean eating” trend.

I should state that I do buy into organic eating, however I also believe our world is far too toxic to eat exclusively organic. You need a certain amount of toxins in you so you don’t walk around perpetually sick.
I should amend the aforementioned statement to say: I prescribe to the mentality of “some organic is better then no organic.” Which mostly means I don’t go out of my way to do it. I’m not shopping at whole foods (because F that place is expensive!!! AND most of the customers seem perpetually irritated or perhaps inflated with their own self-importance…) blah blah. I shop at the normal local stores and buy organic produce/items whenever possible.

So… Whenever some celebrity is tooting their organic diet in pregnancy I can’t help but wonder how deathly ill their children will be when they are exposed to our toxic environment outside of the womb. You can’t protect them forever because as some point breast milk needs to turn into solids. And solids become a matter of urgency when feeding screaming/hungry children. Most working adults don’t have the time or energy to slice up the organic celery every night… But assuming you have the time, its even more difficult when they see their friends are eating different things… Especially when their playmates are going to inevitably eat some pink-slime treated hamburger that comes with a tantalizing toy. How do you say “no” to that?

Anyways:
I would wager that it just so happens that children are more likely to eat hot dogs then the average adult. Seems like a fair statement right?
I would also venture to say that when they pulled the data for their little statistic it just so happened to be in the pull. Not that hotdogs cause leukemia, but that children with leukemia are eating hot dogs with the same frequency as children without leukemia (which is a lot across the board).

So I felt punchy and made this comment to the weird article. Thankfully several learned minds also agreed with the data and the correlation on hot dogs/leukemia.

…But one crazy lady just flat out replied “HOT DOGS ARE DEADLY!”

Making a blanket statement like “hot dogs are deadly” proves a certain lack of critical thinking.
Of course a hot dog is deadly if you jammed it down someone’s throat and purposely choked them with it… I think you could probably find 100 creative ways to kill someone with a hot dog if you really wanted to.
…But eating a hot dog occasionally does not guarantee certain death. (Or leukemia).

I would like to think I’m an expert on this matter because for a solid year as a child I exclusively ate hot dogs. This is true. All I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner were hotdogs. That’s not even a joke. I 100% did that. So how am I still alive?
I wouldn’t place money on the fact that I have some mutant gene that causes me to be immune to the “deadliness” of hot dogs. I had consumed 1,095 hot dogs that year. The next year I wouldn’t eat anything but Bologna. … So Unless you truly believe I’m some processed meat monster, by crazy article logic I should be dead.

The point remains: You just can’t believe everything you read on the Internet without a little research. There are people who will tell you that abscess teeth can be treated with coconut oil… Which in truth, if untreated, is most certain “death” when the infection hits your blood stream and circulates all over your body. Might as well go to a dentist and avoid the hospital. I don’t think it wise to claim to know more then a doctor. And I’m not claiming to either.
You can believe what you want, but don’t go about throwing hogwash at people and get mad when they push back.

My point is: Control your blanket statements, and do a bit of research from nonbiased parties. It wouldn’t hurt you to be a little more well rounded.

Dear CVS…

Dear CVS,

Thank you for making infertility even more difficult.  Thank you for providing infertility drugs at double (and sometimes even triple) the cost of a normal specialty pharmacy.  Thank you for not even providing enough coverage to get through ONE ROUND of IVF before blowing through the prescription coverage max for infertility (Which is $10k BTW).  Thank you for trying to get me to use an experimental drug (that has a lower success rate in its drug trials) instead of low-dose HCG because you would rather that I end up having to do 2 round of IVF then have to pay the fee for the correct medication.  …ESPECIALLY when I would have had to out-of-pocket ALL of my medication costs on the second round.

Thank you for making me out of pocket $500 just to get the correct medication (low dose HCG and HCG trigger) because I did actually end up with a low success rate (which would have probably been even lower with the other medication) due to the personal difficulties of my infertility and trauma my body is dealing with (Endo and low ovarian reserve).

I speak for women everywhere who are dealing with infertility.  Thank you for making infertility that much more difficult to cope with by not properly regulating your prices and gouging people for their hard earned money on an already heartbreaking and expensive procedure.  Just THANK YOU!

You have made the experience that much more unenjoyable, and when I can switch insurance at my company’s annual enrollment you can expect to lose a customer.  I will tell this story far and wide (the internet being the conduit it is) to make sure people know about your less then honorable intentions.

Thankfully, because I am out of pocket, I can use a self-pay pharmacy that charges the correct rates, which you quoted me again, at triple.

I suppose you are taking a page from Martin Shkreli, or maybe he’s even your CEO.  I guess we will all learn from this experience when you lose not only your customers, but your profits.

Respectfully,

Courtney

Not Everyone Loves You

Not everyone loves you.

Not everyone cares about you.

And that’s okay.

I have spent the majority of my life realizing this cold hard fact, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago when my mother said it to me that it clicked.  My mom, of course, loves me.  I often tease her that she’s obligated, but the reality is she does love me.  I love her too.  But the conversation we were having was based on how I didn’t understand why (exhibit A) didn’t like me.

When I was growing up I was surrounded by love all the time.  Both my mother and father worked, but my brother and I were watched (and partially raised) by our grandmother and great aunt.  We were surrounded by family at all times, and unlike a lot of families out there, we do legitimately care about one another.

I would like to say I was pretty socialized as a child… But I wasn’t… And that really accounts for a lot of my social awkwardness.  I sometimes think it was the “sheltered” atmosphere of our family.  Being fiercely protective also creates somewhat of a barrier between you and the outside world.  I am weird and I find it very difficult to associate with other people.  Even small talk becomes a bit of a task for me.  I am awkward.  Especially with new people.  That, however, is another topic for another time.

My personality is off-putting, and because I am non-conforming female I make it even more difficult to connect to.  I also recognize that I do a creepy amount of “observation” with other humans in social situations, mainly because I’m trying to gauge them.  (I sometimes think I am a mild case of asperger’s syndrome or even avoidant personality disorder.)  This is disturbing to a normal person.  It also makes me appear “Judgy” when reality I’m just trying to learn how best to interact with the person I’m dealing with.  “Dealing with” sounds bad.  But I will adjust my personality if I know I’m not going to be accepted for my good old weird self.  I am a hard pill to swallow.  Needless to say, it makes it difficult for people to get to know me.

However, recognizing my weirdness does not make the it any easier when people don’t “love” me or even like me.  Especially when it comes to family.  I will fight to the death for anyone holding that title, whether I agree with them or not.  However, conversely, when the same courtesy isn’t given to me, I am a little shocked.

Lately I’ve been experiencing that hole.  While my own family has surrounded me with a blanket of love in this difficult time, I can’t say the same for my in-laws.  I realize I’m not the daughter-in-law a lot of parents would want.  But I am a loving wife.  I am a good person.  I am also a human who has hopes, dreams, and fears.  I never had surgery before.  And a short surgery had been unexpectedly long.  Recovery took a long time, as a result.  I didn’t even feel 100% normal up until 3 weeks ago.  That being said, I would expect the occasional “How are you doing?” or “Is there anything we can do?” …if not for me, at least for my husband.  I had surgery and I barely got a “How do you do?” And maybe… Just maybe… You might have been concerned with how your husband might deal with something as terrifying as watching your wife rolled into an OR.  Or how an hour and half became 4.  I know I would have been an absolute wreck.

Also knowing we had another loss… Not even a word.  Just.  What?  Maybe we are dealing with something terrible and maybe you could give some words of comfort?

It would be nice if they could just… Ya know… give a crap.  At all.

It’s not new to this current situation (my infertility), but the indifference in general has created a distance.  It’s a distance I’m not proud of.  It’s a distance I don’t understand where family is concerned.  It feels… Wrong.  But I don’t know how to bridge the gap because I’m not the one creating the gap.  It’s just this situation has really made things more obvious.

I think I should also mention that I have a major personality defect.  I don’t let people hurt me more then once.  If you destroy my trust even once, I will never trust you again.  I try to be more lenient on family because of the aforementioned “fierce protectiveness.”  …But I feel hurt with this whole situation.  I also have a photographic memory.  It makes compiling a list of transgressions pretty easy as well.  I can usually tell you what shirt you were wearing when you said something.  It makes me feel petty to keep an open tab of bullshit, but its also pretty f-ing shitty.  At the same time… When we tell you that we are doing IVF and you tell me a story of someone who did IVF and then got pregnant naturally later, implying some bullshit like I just need to “relax” makes me a little rabid.  That’s cool.  I’m happy for them.  Too bad any “natural” pregnancy I may ever have would be in my tubes and I could die.  I generally don’t want to die.  Infertility is not a one-size-fits-all.  …But cool for them.

In closing.  Courtney.  Not everyone loves you.  And that’s okay.  They don’t have to.  The people that love you, love you as fiercely as you love them.  If everyone loved you, then you would have no frame of context for love.

Dun Dun DUNNN… Heavy Post.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to talk about infertility, something that has become a bit of a “dark passenger” for me.  Yeah… Kinda like my ovaries are in cahoots with Dexter Morgan.

Just last year I was diagnosed with Endometriosis.  After spending the larger portion of my life complaining about my cramps, I was finally diagnosed at 29.  The ridiculous part is that I’ve been going to the same OBGYN since I was 11 when my period started because I had intense cramping.  Slapping a bandaide on it, my doc put me on birth control at 13… Which was not something I was entirely opposed to seeing as my libido was turning on around the same time.  (Not that I was active at 13… I didn’t have sex until I was 16.  But my mind figured better be safe then sorry.  Plus I went to Catholic school.  People did not turn up pregnant in catholic school… ***Cue GOT “Shame” Chorus.***)

Anyways… The past 5 years the pain had become severe during my periods.  At some point I had actually switched over to a continuous birth control.  It’s actually an odd God-Send that I did, because the less active my ovaries, the less severe the endo (Ha!).  If I had not been on BC who knows.  I would probably be completely sterile now.

Where was I going with that?  Oh Yeah… About 5 years ago I flat out told my doc “Hey… There is a ball of lava in my left side… And one of these days it’s going to erupt!”

Nope.  I was just crazy.

Jump forward in time, I got married to my husband.  After a year we decided to start to try.  6 months later I finally got pregnant.  And then… I had a miscarriage.  After weeks of calling my OBGYN and complaining of pain I started to bleed the day before the agreed to see me.  See, they generally don’t want to see you until week 6.  But I was in pain.  They said not to come in unless I started to bleed.  By the time I started to bleed it was like a flood.  Good old OBGYN didn’t even do a ultrasound to check where the sac was… Just tested my blood to make sure the HCG was leaving my body.  I sat there weeping on the table with my husband holding my hand while the midwife told me “Just try again.”  2 Chemical losses later I decided enough was enough.  At this point, I had also been off of the pill for well over a year and during my periods I could barely walk.  I would literally limp to the bathroom and bleed profusely in the shower.  But I’m just “crazy.”

The interesting thing is that all 3 losses were probably ectopic and my body was trying to save me.

Anyways… With the referral of a neighbor we ended up in the best fertility clinic in the state of Delaware.  Within 5 mins my new doctor diagnosed me with endo.  I still remember being shocked.  The funny thing about endo is that you can’t diagnose the stage until you are actually doing the surgery, but they could do some tests to take a look before opening me up.

The very first ultra sound, on my left side, they saw a large endometrioma on my left ovary, more then doubling it in size.  Exactly where I said it was.  I sat there and cried again while the nurse hugged me.  A few more dreadful tests later (One where they shot dye up into my tubes and I actually cried out in pain while my mother held my hand) I found myself in the outpatient center waiting for surgery with a snazzy gown/hair net combo with my husband and mother to keep vigil.

Funny thing was… My surgery got bumped down to the end of the day because they didn’t expect it to be that bad… But when they opened me up they were very wrong.  An hour and half surgery turned into 4 hours.  The endo was everywhere… It had even glued my colon to my abdomen wall.  I also had 4 endometrioma’s or “Chocolate cysts.”

I still remember seeing my doc right after the surgery and her telling me it was stage 4 “Severe” and I replied “So we do IVF now?”  She patted my arm and said she was going to talk to my husband and mother.

A week later I limped into the office with my husband and mother where we scrolled through disgusting pictures of my internal organs with my amazing and triumphant doctor.  The Bad News:  My tubes and ovaries were so messed up and traumatized from the endo I would never conceive naturally.

The very next day I had my first appointment with my new IVF doctor.  They said I was setting a record for how quickly I wanted to start IVF, but as long as I was sure they were sure.  3 weeks later a fridge box showed up with tons of scary fricking needles (I have a needle phobia).

My husband has been the absolute best, lovingly administering needles day and night.  When it was all said and done, I only had 20 follicles left, and 11 working follicles… 8 on my right and 3 on my left.  We ended up with 9 eggs, all 9 mature, and all 9 fertilized.  5 made it to blastocyst and we opted to do a fresh transfer.  Needless to say, I am not pregnant now because I had another chemical pregnancy loss.  4 losses total now.  But the good news, we had hedged our bets and done a biopsy and freeze on the 4 remaining embryos.  Right after the loss we had the 4 biopsies sent off and 2 of them came back normal.  Which means 2 of them were abnormal, one had an extra chromosome and one had a missing chromosome.  They weren’t major defects, but they would not have survived.

So why at 29 do I have such bad eggs when we have not medical history to suggest abnormalities?  Well.  It’s because the endo ate up most of my eggs.  We knew I had a limited supply right after the surgery.  The best way to explain it is:  You have a full basket of eggs.  The top eggs are the best, the middle eggs are okay, and the bottom eggs are just… Ehhh.  I’m at the bottom of the basket so my statistics are much higher for abnormalities.  SO we have 2 in the freezer.

Sunday I started a new round of injections.

I’ve stopped being ashamed of this.  Why should I be ashamed?

I shouldn’t be ashamed because I’ve been a lot stronger then I thought I would ever be (not that I thought I would ever be in this situation). But there have been days where I would have rather completely shut down then live in this hell. But I keep going, teary eyed and hopeful.

I’ve been mainly ashamed that my body would fail me in the one act of womanhood (Because I really suck at being a woman). I always wanted to be a mother someday, but I waited to have children, mainly so I could provide a stable life. Where’s the shame in that?

With that in mind, I would be remiss to not mention, that above all I have learned that we have some really great family and friends who will listen even when they don’t know what to say to make it better.  …Those people are the keepers!

Mainly I don’t want judgement or platitudes. People can say such hurtful things… Like “just relax” (because relaxing will somehow heal my scar tissue or maybe it will replenish the eggs my body decided to eat over the past 20 years?). Or “why don’t you just adopt?” Like adoption is so simple… Or they can’t comprehend that I could possibly want a child that shares in our bloodline.
SO if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.

So now as we start a new and different cycle, I guess we will see where this leads us.
Science is truly miraculous.