Tuesday, August 31, 2004

How will I handle the Bad?

This is a serious blog ... not a funny one. It delvs into my spiritual side and is a reflection on how I handle grief and dipsair. If you are not a spiritual person, then you may want to skip this blog. If you are a person questioning your spirituallity, or wondering how other people handle grief ... then by all means ... read on.

It's not a matter of why God would allow something bad to happen to me ... but rather, I believe that it's a matter of how will I handle the bad that has happened to me with God's help? God doesn't send bad things our way. But, once they do come our way, how exactly is it that we handle the bad? Below is the 23rd Psalm, and following it, is my personal interpretation of the 23rd Psalm ... it's how I feel after having experienced my 4th lost pregnancy these past two weeks.

The 23rd psalm of David.....

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


A personal interpretation of the 23rd Psalm after my 4th lost pregnancy ...

Even though the Lord is my shepherd, I'm still in want. I'm trying to want only Him, but I want a family so bad it hurts. But I know if I turn to Him, He will take my wants away from me and help me focus on Him. I know he makes me lie down in green pastures, and I'm thankful he leads me beside quiet waters and restores my soul, because without Him, I think I would loose my mind and be lost forever.

I try to stay on the paths of righteousness for his name's sake, because I know that I'm going to need him when I'm walking through that valley of the shadow of death. Every reaction I have is played out in front of others, and they stretch and strain to see any signs of me walking away from the Lord. There is evil all around me, and it waits to jump in and cast doubt and anger, but I know He's with me, and when I'm afraid and anxious for the pregnancies I've lost in my life, the many disappointments I've ever experienced, and even when I'm anxious for the safety of my future pregnancies, He comforts me. He gives me a calming sense of peace. I know that with Him, I can go on.

Thankfully, He prepares a table for me when I'm in the presence of my enemies. For, without gathering the strength he offers me at his overflowing table, surely I would fold. Time and time again, he blesses me. He blesses me so much, I become overwhelmed. I know his love and goodness will always be with me, all the days of my life. Not only will I dwell in the house of the Lord forever, but so will all the children I've lost throughout the years, and all the children that I will hold in my arms in the future.

Thank God I have His strength, love, and compassion. Without it, I would have been a hopeless case, but because of it, I know that I can make it through this, no matter how bad it gets. He gives me the strength and courage to face the next step ...

Friday, August 27, 2004

Green Glow

So as it turns out, I've had to take the two shots of Methyltrexate. So now, whenever you turn the lights of in our bedroom, there is an erie green glow coming from under the covers .... right around the uterus section of my body. Something's gotta be going on down there!

Actually, it hasn't been too bad. The last miscarriage I had (Mother's Day, 2004) was sooooo, well, it was bad. Messy. This one, however, hasn't been at all. A little heavy bleeding here, a little there, and several hours of no bleeding. But, the cramping pain in my abdomen has been quite lovely to deal with, considering TYLENOL is the only thing I can take. Right after the nurse gave me the two injections of this lovely chemotherapy drug, she said, "now just so you know, you can't have any alcohol until this works through your system. About two weeks." I just looked longingly at my husband, and he said, "that sure puts a kink in her plans ... she was gonna go out and get stone drunk tonight." Funny guy.

After a long session with my doctor, we learned some very interesting things. It seems that women with PCOS have a higher rate of miscarriage/lost pregnancy early on in their first trimester than normal, healthy women. What a coincidence... that's been my problem all along ... lost pregnancy in the 5th to 7th week... EACH TIME. So, my doctor wants to put me on Avandia (Rosiglitazone). She had a patient that couldn't take Metphormin either, and she put her on Avandia and she got pregnant with triplets, and successfully delivered. Wow! That's a positive emotion/outcome to hold onto. You see, PCOS women produce too much of the male hormones, and not enough of the female hormones, so when the embryo tries to snuggle down and implant, the body rejects it because the hormones aren't at the right level. Okay ... something like that ... but that's the main jest.

If I haven't said it before, I absolutely LOVE my doctor and nurse. They are awesome. I've read so many instances where a woman goes through infertility treatment and the doctor keeps her on the same protocol for months. Not my doctor. She sees that there's a problem, and she's making adjustments to combat the issues. While I can't begin another IVF cycle until about November, she's assured me that a) she's going to send us for all kinds of chromosomal testing and autoimmune disease testing; b) she's going to put me on Avandia as soon as possible (similar to Metphormin w/o as many side effects); c) she's going to pursue a more aggressive protocol so that more follicles are produced with the hopes that more eggs will be retrieved and fertilized; d) she's going to talk with the geneticist about doing PGD (Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis) on each of the embryos; e) we'll probably transfer (when the time comes) 3 embryos instead of 2.

So there is hope, and that's something to hold on to.

In the mean time, I guess the neighbors are going to have to deal with the green glow that seeps out from our bedroom in the dead of night.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

How to deal with Sorrow ... Orange Tic Tacs

Okay ... I know it's been a long time since I posted, but it's been a pretty tough week. So now that I've been fortified from my morning's wholesome breakfast of an entire box of orange tic tacs (what?!? orange has vitamin c, right?), here's what's been happening...

Last Monday (8/16), my pregnancy test came back positive. My Betas were very low, though. So... we waited another two days and tested again on Wednesday. My Betas went up a bit, but not enough. By Friday, my Beta's were still going up, but not enough. Monday (8/23) I tested again, and Betas went up a bit more. No doubling, not even close. Just 3 here, 8 there. So, my doctor said that she thought it was an Ectopic Pregnancy, and I'd need to have a shot (two, actually) of Methotrexate. Joy... Chemotherapy ... I get to glow in the dark. Methotrexate is used to end a pregnancy because it kills living and reproducing cells. Sounds ominous, and even though my RE told me not to worry because it won't be any different than a heavy period, I don't believe her one bit. I always prepare myself for the worst, and after reading several blog entries about this exact procedure, I really have the willies about it. This also means that we will have to miss a couple of cycles to get all the chemicals out of my system before we try again. Joy. I'm going to be 100 years old before I get pregnant.

But as luck would have it, I started bleeding today. On my own. Yea! I called my RE and I get to go in for another beta tomorrow. Nothing like getting stuck in the arm for blood. It's become my new favorite thing to do. If my numbers have started to go down, I avoid the Methotrexate. If they are NOT going down, I get the shots. Tomorrow. Joy.

At the same time, as if my own sorrow isn't enough, my friend who lives across the street from me received a call from her doctor saying that her pap smear was VERY abnormal, and the results of the cells they tested were concerning. She's struggled with stage 3 cancer before, and went through treatments, so this news is a bit frightening for her. It's not just one of those "iffy" paps ... it's the real thing. She's a bit beside herself, and she's finding comfort in her Merlot. I feel so bad for her. I think she's putting off calling the doctor because she's afraid of what she'll hear. I can't say that I blame her.

Well ... here's to another box of orange tic tacs..... Hey... give me a break. It's how I'm dealing with my sorrow ... that, and a bucket of Eddy's Limited Peach Grove ice cream, some chocolate cake, and caffeine. I figure that since this is my 4th lost pregnancy, I deserve it, so leave me alone about it.

Friday, August 13, 2004


Wheeeeew! I hope this dizziness I'm experiencing today is related to being pregnant. I've had a piercing headache, total sleepiness, and I had a total of about 2 hours of queasiness (on and off). Sure hope those are good signs/symptoms!

This is going to be ONE.LONG.WEEKEND....

Monday morning I go for a blood test ... and then my lovely and wonderful nurse will call me in the afternoon to tell me if I'm pregnant, or if I'm loosing my mind feeling all these symptoms without being pregnant. Why, oh, why did I have to go on MONDAY? Why couldn't it have been on a Wed, or even Friday? That way, I wouldn't have to spend the entire, FREAKING weekend obsessing over whether or not I'm pregnant.

Oh, my husband's in for a greaaaaat weekend! And on top of the stress ... Hurricane Charlie is coming into town, and everyone's freaking out over THAT, too! Ummmmmmm ... okay ... People, I really don't think it's going to be much more than a lot of strong rain, and maybe some creeks and rivers flashflooding, but PALEAZE! I live about 50 miles NORTH of Washington, D.C., and about 10 miles SOUTH of the PA line. It's not like we live near the ocean and we need to batten down the hatches, board up the windows, and encircle the house with bags of sand! Really! And because of the threat of rain, my high school reunion has been postponed until Sept or Oct.

Now, while I'm happy about that on the one hand, because I'll know for sure if I'm pregnant or not, and after waiting for 14 years to have a baby, one tends to want to brag a bit... I'm also a bit upset, because I was really looking forward to seeing my high school chums!

All I have to say, is that ... it had better rain so friggin hard that I see a man floating down my street in a rowboat with a yellow slicker and hat on.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Okay ... everything is fine today. Hitler isn't off on a rampage, and the world is once again quiet. As long as he stays in his stinking office, everything is just fiiiine. I swear I think I'm too emotionally unstable to be at the office right now. Just waiting for the day I go in for my beta test that will tell me whether I'm pregnant or not is killing me, and the daily need I have to be obsessive over every single thing is ridiculous...

For instance ... "Oh, no! I haven't felt any nausea for three days... maybe I'm not pregnant!" (I should be thankful I'm not feeling nausea yet!) or how about this one ... "I can barely keep my eyes open ... that MUST mean I'm pregnant!" ... or ... "Honey, I'm craving Bit-o-Honey candy. I'm not sure where that craving came from, but surely that must mean I'm pregnant!" (like I could possibly be feeling any cravings this early!) And then there's the dreams ... oh, the dreams ... like I'm in a wild, WILD movie!

Well, we'll all know for sure in 5 days, but secretly, I really think I'm pregnant.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Darn, those hormones!

Well, transfer went GREAT. We had two 8-celled embies that we transferred. I went back to work on Friday (after two days of bedrest), and by the end of the day, I was cramping so badly, I had to get home and lie down. The weekend, however, was awesome! I took a 45 minute nap in the late AM, then went out for an early dinner, then took an hour nap in the late PM, then got my lovely shot of PIO, then off to bed! Sunday, we went to church, went to lunch, took a two hour nap, did much of nothing. NIIIIIIICE. Gotta love a nappy weekend. As for how I'm feeling ... well, tired, weepy, and just a tad nauseas. All symptoms of either the PIO injections, or quite possibly, I'm pregnant. Though I won't know for a little while yet.

Then... there's always today's joyful event of coming to work and having to face a demanding, micro-managing, ranting and raving boss. Oh, it's quite lovely. He gets himself so wound up and red-faced, that it's hard to get out of him what he's really looking for. The only thing you hear him saying is... "this is wrong, wrong, WRONG. This is not what I want. This isn't close to what I'm looking for. How did you get this number? This isn't what you gave me last month..." On, and on, and ON!

So, in my head... I have so many nice little things that I want to say to him that go something like this...

"Ummm ... okay ... so what the heckis it that you want, Mr. Smartman? I did what you asked, and YEAH, it's exactly what I gave you last month ... remember how happy you were with it then? Oh, yeah... I forgot to put my mind-reading hat on today. Look, I'll tell you what... you just march your little 5'5" hitler-ish self on out of here, and I'll forget you ever stopped by. And while you're marching, why don't you try lifting your own dead-weight fingers and pulling the report you REALLY want out of that thing that sits on your desk... your computer ... you know ... it's that thing you have your secretary dust regularly. Is that a deal?" (as I slowly stand my 5'9" frame up from my chair and lean menacingly over my desk with a 'go ahead and make my day' look on my face).

But, noooooooooo ... instead, I find myself taking SEVERAL deep breaths and trying to control the tears that are threatening to over flow. Darn, those hormones! You'd think I'd be able to control the waterworks. How professional, not to mention attractive!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Who needs work???

What the heck am I doing at work??? I have transfer scheduled for 1:45 this afternoon... What exactly did I think I would get done this morning??? Did I come simply for a mild distraction? Eehhh ... who needs work, anyway??? I should have stayed home in bed and lounged the morning away, but then again... I'll be on bedrest for the next two days, so maybe coming to work was a better decision. Who knows? So .... back to twiddling my thumbs until it's time to leave!!!!!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Wrong, Wrong, WRONG!!!

Okay ... whoever said "it doesn't hurt too badly" was wrong, wrong, WRONG!!! The doctor that first said "oh, it just feels like strong menstrual cramps" must have been a MAN, because I don't think they even KNOW what menstrual cramps feel like. Idiots! They are all idiots!!!

Retrieval hurts. Yes, they put you in lala land, but they also take you out of it, and 15 minutes later, you're smacked in the face with a painful, throbbing in your ovaries that only a nice, fat, juicy vicodin can cure. Even that wore off too soon for comfort.

But all in all, it was a fair retrieval. Our plan was to only have 4 fertilized, but the doctor performing the retrieval told us that we would be drastically reducing our odds, if not eliminating them, because PCOS patients don't always produce healthy eggs. Nice... real nice. That's like having a chicken lay frogs eggs. So when I woke up, I was told that 9 eggs were retrieved. I was hoping for many more, considering that I had over 20 follicles, but I guess beggars can't be choosy!

All the eggs were placed in their own little dishes with thousands of sperm, all for themselves. Out of the nine, 1 didn't fertilize at all, 1 fertilized abnormally (2 sperm made it in), and the other 7 fertilized beautifully.

Now, I'm just waiting for the call to tell me how many have made it to day three, and if I'll have transfer tomorrow, or later on in the week. My IM injections in my beHIIIInd have started, and the side effects are pretty much the same as being pregnant. I'm nauseas and tired. But thankfully, the actual injections are "okay." As in ... not too bad. Except for the occasional vein you go through that causes a nice spouting spurt of blood when the needle is drawn out ... sort of like an active oil well!

So, for now... I'm going to log off and stare at my cell phone, willing it to ring, and picking it up every 5 minutes to make sure it's still working. Then, once I get the call, I'm gonna head home from work and fall into bed (ovaries are still hurting badly).

Out for now...



All seven are continuing to divide nicely. Transfer is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon (1:45 p.m.) ... How exciting is that? Soon I'll have two transferred back in, and 5 frozen ... kidsicles!