the beta tango

When trying to become pregnant when you are a normal girl, there is a certain amount of anxiety each month. A wondering and hoping feeling. When trying to become pregnant while having some sort of fertility issue, it is as though you are walking on hot coals that are at the same time spitting hot fire on your face...and oh yeah you have to do the tango...backwards.

The problem really isn't that you have problems getting pregnant and therefore are more anxious. No the problem is that you are so attune with what is going on in your body that you actually are aware of things far too early and then have to tango longer than a person who is "normal".

I just went through the beta tango. First beta 35...low, but not as low as it could be. Should be 50. Closer to 50 than 0. I am hoping for the good. Just need it to double. Second beta 39. Looks bad...move on.

Only you don't move on right away. You are hurt and sad. You were close but lost. It just stinks. Then you want to move on but can't. You have to get to 0. So third beta will be tomorrow. Unnecessary blood work if you ask me, but nurse says it is for my own safety. It will be interesting to see what the number is. I hope it's low...I actually hope it's 8,000 and all is OK, just a bit of a beginner scare, but I know that will not be the case. Thus the beta tango. "It's a sharp dizzy merry-go-round."

beta foxtrot tango charlie...out


inside the clinic

Sitting inside the IVF clinic is not unlike sitting inside the jungle (or any other territorial land the Discovery channel would do a special on). A bunch of women (sometimes dudes who look so uncomfortable, poor guys) sitting around sizing one another up. It's really strange actually. While they are sizing you up, they are also sympathizing, empathizing and really care about what happens to you...they just hope their outcome is not affected by it. I am 100% guilty of doing this and know that I cannot be the only one. I will admit that maybe I am part of the sick and twisted minority, but still I am not standing here alone, thank you very much.

So here it goes...

When doing IVF you roughly spend about 98 mornings (it's probably more like 15) at the clinic. They herd in a bunch of you...in my case 22 and you sit and wait for blood work and then an ultrasound. You check ages, weights, and some other various body-language psychological factors that you make up in your head and make decisions about your chances vs. hers. It's not unlike some sort of jungle ritual. Still, at the same time, I made friends. There was Julie...an older woman who had given up on love, marriage and kids only to find it later in life...well the kids part she was working on. She was awesome and I really hope she has a successful cycle. But I still think I was sizing her up the entire time. She however looked like she could get pregnant so I think, in some weird way, her chances were good.

No one at that clinic was any more deserving than anyone else, but still you try to come up with reasons why it should work for you and not them.

Because I'm neurotic I used the doctor's success statistics to come up with a rough estimate of how many of us would get pregnant. Out of 22, the number was roughly 7. It doesn't feel very promising when you look at it, but I am hoping and praying I fall into that lucky 7, but if I know I won't be sad that one of those other girls did...even if they are older, wiser, skinnier, fatter, insert your insane reason here.

Inside the clinic...it's a waiting game.


sitting, waiting, wishing

Finding out you are pregnant is a bittersweet experience. It is, especially for someone like me who has been trying with little success, an amazing, giddy, highly exciting experience. You also start worrying. First you start reading about everything, will I miscarry, will I have a blood clot, could it be ectopic....and the list goes on. After a few days of this you realize that you will worry about this tiny little creature from now until the end of time. It doesn't stop. After you pass certain phases and get beyond certain risks, there will be new risks and new phases. It is an endless cycle that does not cease.

IVF is a different boat. You begin your worrying prior to even being told that you are expecting. There are the needles...are you doing them right? There are appointments...all girls sitting in the waiting room for the same thing...where do you rank up among them? You are sitting, waiting, wishing for someone to tell you, you are indeed pregnant so that you can begin to worry like all the other girls who didn't have to sit, and wait, and wish.

I am currently waiting to hear how my eggs are doing. Have they fertilized, when will I have my egg transfer, how many are left. It's slightly unbearable to see the clock count down and not know what is happening with them. I'm on edge.

When the nurse left me to wait for the anesthesiologist on Monday before my egg retrieval, I sat in a thin gown, with the back open and wished. I prayed to God that all of this would go well and result in a beautiful, healthy pregnancy and baby, or babies as the case may be. I then began to think how many girls sat in this very same spot and prayed for the same things. Were sitting and waiting and wishing for a baby. I wasn't the only one. I also thought that I tend to pray only when I need or want something and God probably frowns upon that. I apologized to God.

The egg retrieval yielded 10 eggs, but my estrogen levels were still low. Too low to be close to normal and the doctor told Mike he just didn't know how it was going to go. He told him he was very happy with the number of eggs.

Those words don't leave you with a good feeling. They leave you with the same feeling you always have when going through IVF...I hope I beat the odds, I hope it all works out, I hope we get pregnant this time. IVF is all about hope, and sitting, waiting, wishing.

Jack Johnson sang, "Cause waiting on love ain't so easy to do." Sitting, waiting, wishing, hoping...it ain't so easy to do.


infertility, miscarriages, and the kitchen sink

There's a song by Sublime, which I believe is a cover, but either way the lyrics are...I was always taught that boy meets girl, fall in love get married and forget the world. Nine months later, the sweet baby's on the way. Kiss 'em on the check and life's ok. I get these lyrics...they are exactly how I envisioned life to be. But hindsight is 20/20 and life isn't always what it seems and sometimes life isn't ok.

In November 2009, one year and one month after we had gotten married, Mike said, "So when do you want to start having kids?" This from man who had always said he didn't think he wanted any. I was flabbergasted. "Now," I said.

For days after I wondered and wondered if we should be having kids, if we would be good parents, if our lives would change. Basically, I scared the crap out of myself. I told him that he had said exactly what I wanted him to and it began to terrify me. It's that old adage, be careful what you wish for.

I moved on though. I got over the scared feeling and we began trying. Month after month after month after month and nothing. Since I am fraught with medical problems, I figured it has to be me and went to the doctor. It wasn't me, which in it of itself is something to celebrate, however, it meant that it was most likely Mike. It was Mike...

After being told by numerous doctors that we would never be able to conceive naturally, one told us we had a 1% chance, and with no funding for IVF, we just went back to living our lives.

That August I got pregnant. It came out of no where. I was so sure it was a joke, I took 7 pregnancy tests. The first test that I took, I Googled the image to see if it was indeed positive. We were sublimely happy.

Weeks passed and then I started bleeding. And just as quickly as it all happened, it was gone and there were no answers and nothing we could do about it.

Miscarriages suck. There is no getting around it. They are awful and horrible and not something I would wish on my worst enemy.

After our miscarriage, more doctors visits ensued. I was poked and prodded all over again.

We took some time off after this. We sold our house, bought a new one, lived with my parents for three months, then moved into our new house. And even though we were "taking off", I was hopefully. After all, it was when we took off, that I had gotten pregnant in the first place.

One day after we moved into our beautiful new home, we began the journey of IVF. 

The week that I started my injections we decided to redo the kitchen.

I had a cyst aspirated and looked at Lowe's for a back splash. I had a hormone induced meltdown and removed wallpaper (it was pink...blah!).

Besides the back splash, which I haven't be able to decide on, the kitchen is done and my egg retrieval isn't scheduled yet. Truthfully, I thought the kitchen would take longer.

Unless you have been through the rollercoaster of infertility you have absolutely no idea. Just like unless you have had a miscarriage you have no idea of the pain. It just isn't something that a person can empathize with unless they've been there.

So Mike and I are riding the coaster. It definitely has its ups and downs. I haven't thrown my arms up in the air and screamed yet...I'm saving it for the end.