in between dreams

The period of time between growing as many follicles as possible and having as many beautiful embryos as allowed placed back inside is very much akin to banging one's head against the wall several times. What are you doing?

When you are growing your follicles, you have doctor visits nearly every morning, blood is drawn, ultrasounds are completed, judging of the fellow waiting room inhabitants commences. For me this time around was much more relaxing. The nurses and office staff knew me by name, not because I am a pain (at least I don't think), but because, honestly, I think they have the toughest jobs in the world and I am extra sugary sweet nice to them. Think about it, they have to deal with women all day everyday, on top of that, the women are hormonally-crazed...it cannot be easy. But I digress...

You are there nearly everyday with something to do. A purpose. For me it always made the day go faster because by the time I got to work I had so much catching up to do. It was a routine.

After the trigger shot things change. Instead of having blood work and an ultrasound you just have the blood work. There are no more medicines to take at night because you aren't supposed to take anything yet. The shots for that period of time are done. It's strange and odd and you feel like you are forgetting something.

After the egg retrieval (ER for those not so "in the know") you begin new shots. This time in the morning, with a MUCH larger needle. These shots need to be administered by Mike (my husband) because I would probably break the needle off in my ass if I had to do it myself (I am a bit of klutz, you see). These shots interrupt (at least for me) the only time I have that I am not consciously thinking about IVF, babies, pregnancy, or the like. Even if it is Saturday, you have to wake up at the same time you did all week to administer the shot.

The two week wait that everyone talks about is hellish. You are constantly analyzing your body, every twinge, bout of nausea, breast pain, etc. It is the kind of torturous hell I would not wish on a soul. You waiver between "This worked" and "This didn't work". And honestly, it doesn't really matter if it did at that point because there are many more weeks before you are "in the clear", if ever. But at that moment in time, you do not know of those days. You can only think of finding out you are pregnant.

Hellish as it is, the two week wait is not why I wrote this post. I wrote this post about the time in between ER and ET (egg transfer for you laymen). The time in between the dreams of growing follicles and becoming pregnant. The space where there are no doctors visits, no mixing of medications, no distractions.

During this time you worry about your embryos. Are they growing? Are they growing at the right speed? When the embryologist says 3, 8-cell embryos that are ideal does she mean that this is going to work? When the embryologist says we should have 1 hopefully 2 to transfer on Thursday does she mean that she is not expecting there to be 2? It is the time where you really are completely disconnected from your prospective child(ren), as well as the entire process of getting pregnant. You are not housing your eggs, or your embryos. You are as far away from them as is possible. There are no visitation rights.

This time for me has always been the worst.

Jack Johnson sings, "We're just human, amusing, but confusing. But the truth is, all we got is questions. We'll never know."

Infertility is full of questions, and not so many answers. It full of amazement, but no truth. What works for one may not work for another. We put faith in our doctors and nurses, in God, in ourselves (at least some of the time), but we don't really know anything for sure.

Life is funny that way. The moments of uncertainty, for me, seem to always remain in between dreams...that's why those damn progesterone shots suck.


what would you ask if you had just one question?

Is part of being on this Earth to question and understand all the things around you? I have never particularly believed in one religion over another. I was raised Catholic and completed my sacraments to date, but I would not say that I aligned myself with the Church.

As a child, in CCD, they taught that you should love God above all others. It confused me terribly. How could I love God, whom I had never met, over my parents who I loved so deeply and truly? I asked my mother who tried to explain, and stated matter-of-factly, that I couldn't do that. It just wasn't possible for me to love anything more than I loved them. I had made a choice.

As an adult, I still love my parents truly and deeply. They are cornerstones to my life and without them, I really do not know who or what I would be today. However, meeting my husband, I found a love that could not compete with the love that I feel for them. The way that I feel about Mike is not even something that I can describe in words, only to say that I have never been as good a person as he makes me want to be. I sometimes feel as though my entire body will explode if I let it. The love I feel for my husband is powerful and can knock down walls. It is strong and can overcome obstacles that I didn't think were surmountable. It is and will always be my barometer for life. Without him, I think I would fade into nothingness. It is impossible to imagine a life that does not include him in it.

When I got pregnant the first time, I felt the love for a child. Something that I could not describe to you in words, only to say that I felt a peaceful, unconditional love that nothing could destroy. It was tranquil and untouched by the world. It was new and completely different from any other love I have felt. It was pure.

Doctors and nurses have said many things this week. It has been difficult. I have cried. I have cried in front of people. I have felt defeated. Most of all, I have been angry at God. I have asked myself a ton of questions, but have not prayed to Him directly or asked Him anything. I don't know if it is that I cannot bring myself to do it or if it is not something I am capable of doing. The relationship I have with Him is strained. And in a way, it always has been. We have differing opinions on things and sometimes it feels as though that isn't OK.

I am an incredibly spiritual person. I have a ton of ideas about how I should believe in God, and powers greater than myself. I am waiting for some kind of sign to show me how I should move forward, what my attitude should be, and I just can't seem to find it. There are so many variables.

I am looking for the right words to say to Him. I can't seem to find them. I can't seem to get to a place where I know how to approach this. Where I know exactly the right words to say. Exactly the right decision to make.

Joan Osbourne sang, "If God had a name, what would it be and would you call it to his face, if you were faced with him in all his glory? What would you ask if you had just one question?"

I think my question is why, but I am not sure I am supposed to know.


all aboard! ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa!

On Tuesday, I started my second IVF cycle. Up until Tuesday, I felt pretty calm. I had been focusing my time and energy on getting healthy and exercising. I had stopped obsessing with infertility and the like, I haven't even blogged about it because there just didn't seem a point in drawing attention to the fact that I couldn't get pregnant. I felt calm and reserved. I felt ready to start a new cycle without feeling overwhelming dread, fear, unwittingly trying to not get my hopes up, but actually getting my hopes up (let's face it...if it doesn't work, it hurts, there is no way around it, no way to protect yourself). All that changed today.

I went in for my second round of bloodwork and ultrasounds. I had taken meds for three days. I really didn't feel overwhelmed or nervous, I just felt like me. Then I got the call that my numbers didn't really increase and the nurse then said, "Don't worry, it's still very early." It's nearly impossible to tell a woman who is going through infertility treatments not to worry. Isn't that what this process is supposed to teach you, how to worry? And if you already know how, you are supposed to hone your skills. I'm working on my Ph.D.

So now I'm worried. Now I'm checking BabyCenter.com. I am posting and obsessively checking my email to see if someone has responded. (No one has.) It sounds crazy...it is crazy, but how do you control it? I don't think I will ever know.

I'm going off the rails on a crazy train...