Finding (and Maintaining) Hope… After Loss. 

Finding (and Maintaining) Hope… After Loss.  

I have been struggling to find words lately. 

Everything that comes into my mind is riddled with doubt and anxiety. 

Infertility changes you… I’ve touched on this specific topic before, but it bares repeating. 

With the decent developments in my story, it has changed how I approach the world and my day to day life.  

I am pregnant. I am now 7 weeks.  

5-6 weeks is when I had my full MC this time last year. I was literally still grieving the loss this time last year… After my old obgyn had refused to see me when I called about pain that led to severe bleeding. Before they actually saw me and had given me very little to go on in terms of hope. Before I had 2 more chemical losses, so faint, almost not there at all, but still heartbreaking when they left me.

Before I went to a fertility specialist. Before I found out I had stage 4 severe endo and low ovarion reserve. Before surgery. Before I healed. Before our first round of IVF. Before I had one more chemical losses, (a fresh transfer after our first round of IVF). Before PGS found out more then half of the embryos we had frozen were abnormal, leaving us with only 2 heathy embryos. Before the FET cycle started. 

And now. I’m pregnant. Pregnant after the FET. And justifiably scared. Scared of every twinge. Every pain. Every bowel movement. Every step I have to walk up. 

Every bit of moisture in my pants and instantly I am thinking “This is it!” And then there is nothing… Thankfully. A moment of relief.  

I am frightened. I keep repeating in my head: “Its only 10%! It’s only 10% after PGS of a loss. Only 10%.” So low. But It’s not enough for the doubts in my mind. 

I thought seeing it at the first ultrasound (week 5) would have been enough… It wasn’t. 6 week ultrasound and I cried with my favorite clinician before she even put the probe in. I was afraid it would be gone again. And then I cried seeing it’s tiny heartbeat show up right away. A little swirly flash on the screen like it was saying “Look! Mom! I’m alive! Relax!”

As I sat there crying the clinician told me “Today you need to be happy. Don’t worry. Be happy all day today.” And I cried some more with happiness, still tinged with fear.  

I frequently put my hand on my already extremely (and stupidly) bloated stomach and whisper “Don’t leave me little one. I saw your tiny heart beat on the monitor. So tiny and flashing light. Please grow healthy and strong for mommy.” 

I constantly ask my husband “Everything is alright? They are alright?” And he has to reassure me. The other day we were in the middle of eating watermelon and I blurted out: “Everything is alright? The baby isn’t dead inside of me?”

The poor man damn near dropped his fork he was so shocked. Then I had a mini anxiety attack, which involves crying and laughing like a lunatic while my husband hugged me.  

I am afraid. So afraid. I wonder if I will be fearful the whole pregnancy. I’m afraid to be too happy. Afraid to be “too sure.”  

I watch other pregnant women walk past me, with no cares. Here I am, waiting on my rainbow baby. Fearful every waking moment.  

Infertility changes you. Especially with previous losses. You live in fear. Fear even with happy news. I am so happy and so afraid.  

I get an ultrasound every week, and I seem to start panicking about 3-4 days after for the next one. So I am panicky now that my next one is on the 5th. At 12 weeks I go on to a normal OBGYN and I won’t get weekly ultrasounds anymore. Will I still be a basket case at week 12? Will I survive until the next ultrasound without turning into a lunatic? Or do I need to buy a heart monitor to listen whenever I start to panic. 

Soon I need to make a decision about CVS. Do I do it? Or will I freak out even more about a MC? It’s just a precaution after the PGS in case they missed something. Even though the chance of MC is so low… I am so afraid of it. So afraid. I will have to discuss this with the doctors before making a decision.  

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I am so alone in this fear. People who haven’t had a loss don’t understand what it’s like to be so incredibly afraid. I should be happy, not so afraid.  

How do you find/maintain hope after a loss?

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The “Two Week Wait.”

The “Two Week Wait…”

Collectively the worst experience for any women dealing with infertility. 

Last transfer I was hopeful. This time I feel… Discouraged. This whole protocol I’ve felt down. Just sad, and it makes me angry and confused.

If this one doesn’t take we’ve resolved to stop, and do another round of IVF to get more eggs before doing another FET. That’s frightening in an of itself. We have to put everything back on hold and start back over again. I know there are so many women who have done this… And I feel your sadness as if it were my own, even though it’s not my reality yet.

I guess it’s all just fear. I am afraid of a negative result. Or another chemical loss.

It means I also walk around obsessing over every symptom.

I’ve had a significant amount of cramping. Not full blown period cramping… But annoying discomfort. Also I feel STIFF inside. I also seem to have excessive moisture… Not full blow discharge though. I’m also waking up covered in sweat… But that’s sorta been happening since I started the progesterone. My breasts are mildly sore. When I was pregnant before my breasts were sore too. My full MC my breast swelled up like balloons almost instantly.

But this isn’t hope in my heart. It’s heartbreak. Fearful of a loss. We only have 2 embryos. There is only one left in the freezer. 

I’ve done everything I can do you little one. I’ve scraped up my insides. I’ve prepped you. I’ve liberated you from my ovaries. I’ve fertilized you. I’ve tested and froze you. I’ve prepped my body for you. I’ve defrosted you and put you back in. It’s your job now. It’s up to you. 

IVF – Dream Orgasms

This is a thing. Totally a thing that happens with IVF transfers.

My last transfer (fresh) they handed me a paper with instructions, one of which was specifically “NO ORGASMS!” 

(Yes, all caps.)  

At the time I was thinking “NO PROBLEM…” I was still tender from my surgery the month before and the egg retrieval. (Not to mention my ovaries were still gigantic and squishing against my uterus with all their might!). I was not super in the mood for sex… Or so I thought.

Little did I know my body had different plans when I woke up the next morning in the throws of pleasure from my dream. Good job Brain!!!! I instantly freaked about it… But after a bit of research I found out other women have had this happen too. 

I ended up with a chemical loss 2 weeks later, but not because of the orgasm. (Suspected chromosomal abnormalities with how the rest of my PGS testing turned out on the remaining embryos.)

Fast forward: Yesterday we had the Frozen Embryo Transfer of a normal chromosomal embryo and wonder of wonders, last night I woke up yet again, with an orgasm. …And a really good one too….

Luckily, yesterday I specifically asked the nurse and doctor about it. Surprise surprise they actually removed the “NO ORGASMS” script from my instructions altogether, just told me not to put anything in my vagina… And soothed my worries about the dream orgasm situation. Not to worry.

This morning, after the impromptu orgasm, despite the reassurance of my doctor… I did some more online research of other women doing IVF and apparently it’s pretty common with transfers. Maybe it has something to do with the cervix being opened? Or maybe it’s just the progesterone injections? Or perhaps the body just recognized the embryo inside and it’s saying “Hey! I’m pregnant but I didn’t get to enjoy this one!!! Well screw you! Gonna do it anyway!” (They may be helping things along…)

Who knows? What I do know is it’s common. A little weird, but common.

There is literally nothing you can do. My libido was high during STIM, but “shut down” after ER… And then not so much during the Lurpon protocol. However, I suspected this could be a problem again and tried to “tire myself out” in the weeks leading up. Especially if I was on a strict “no orgasms” policy again. Well, that clearly worked. Not regretting it, just saying you can’t win this war. Your brain and body are going to do whatever they want. 

My words of wisdom: Don’t freak out if this happens to you.