Saturday, May 30, 2009

Measuring Heartache

  • lining measured a whopping 4.9 on Thursday. A whole .2 mm more. How about that.
  • My estrogen level is above 2000. Off the charts. So, its not a matter of my body not ingesting the estrogen. It's a matter of my endometrium simply failing to comply.
  • lining is neither thick nor trilaminar - the 2 things you shoot for for a successful cycle. There are little white spots on the ultrasound which indicate little pieces of scarring. So, 0 for 2 with a little extra punch in the gut. Things don't look good.
  • what now? this officially turns into a mock cycle with 10 days of progesterone (shots and suppositories, hey!) leading up to an endometrial biopsy around June 11.
  • if, despite everything, the lining is "in phase," we will move towards an FET. If it is not, we will not. There would be no point.

But we're here. At the beach. Managing to eke out a few smiles and laughs over the heartache that really has just become a familiar part of our lives. It is not going to go away, so we might as well acknowledge it. Yes, yes, I see you. You're right there. How could we miss you? And then take things from there.

Comment from M. on the beach after we dodge seagulls that have gathered behind us because a little boy thought throwing his french fries to them was funny (discarded french fries! blasphemy!) and a big rubber ball that came loping down the sand from a game played by another bunch of young 'uns:

"You know, truth be told, I actually liked kids a lot less before. Now I can actually tolerate them. Well, not tolerate them, but I don't hate them. I know some of your friends have trouble seeing kids these days. For me, it's kind of the opposite."

Are you telling me that your kid aversion was really sour grapes?

"Yes. I hated them because I didn't think we could ever have them. But we did. We do."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

To the Beach, Bo-oy!

So, in a few hours I will saunter down to the train station and make my way to the next crossroads in this adventure - does she or does she not have a busted endometrium?

Feeling much calmer about it all since my post last week. Thanks to conversations with many of you and the belief that my RE really does have some more tricks up her sleeve, and a vested interest in our success. Even if today blows, it does not have to be the end of the road. That is what I am telling myself. Not fooling myself, but not freaking myself out yet either. Because what is the point of that?

That isn't to say that I didn't go grab a last minute acupuncture session last night. Damn! Has it been that long? Did I get soft? After the 3rd or 4th jab I finally said something offhand to my acupuncturist about the stabs, which I was noticing a LOT more than usual. And she confessed that I was "bringing out the little old chinese lady in the redhead today" and she had decided to be a little more aggressive with the points and the needles. Jeez. Ok. Whatever works.

I can never tell where my mind is going to wander when I'm lying on the table. Some days I try to be really, really mindful and do deep breathing exercises or repeat some mantras. (I am really, truly sucky at meditations. The best I can do is visualizations. not the same thing, but an exercise nonetheless). Yesterday, I decided to just chill. Just Be. And I was rewarded with just an amazing technicolor experience - all kinds of mental images of me with a big belly floating through my brain. Big posing for belly shots. Big waddling down the boardwalk. Big in a big mumu dress that M would hate. It was delicious.

My belly never got that big.

But it was in my mind yesterday evening. And rather than get all slumpy and sad about the what is in my head vs. what IS, I decided to just enjoy it. Just enjoy the show.

I wonder if the images were aided by the fact that I am feeling quite bloated, my belly distended. I can see that my face and my body are far rounder than usual and although I did have potato chips for lunch a few days last weekend, I don't think I ingested enough to justify the gain. It has to be the estrogen, right? My belly is tender and slightly achy. Similar to how I have felt in previous cycles. Again, seeing it as a good sign.

And my acupuncturist felt a kidney pulse in both of my wrists. Good, right?

All of this to say, this week has felt different than last week. We'll see what any of that is worth.

Once the appointment is over, I'm meeting M. (not sure where yet) after work and we are making our way down to the beach to see my parents and take some time off. Just a long weekend, but just the thought of it has had us sufficiently distracted. So, its already been worth it. We loaded up the car this morning with the kayaks, our coffee mugs, some clothes, extra pillows (because my mom's beds are horribly uncomfortable, y'all) and a bag heavy with books and CDs from the library. You would think we were going on a damn excursion. But no. Just a few hours down the road. For less than 72 hours.

I can't wait to stuff my bloated self into a bathing suit. I'm not even being sarcastic.

I already know what appetizers I am going to order from which restaurants and which arcade will see my quarters. I can feel the sand scratching my feet stuck in my sandals and I can smell the vinegar from the fries we will order once M. finally caves in and realizes he can't possibly make it through the weekend without them. Oh you know the ones.

I can hear the crappy band(s) we'll probably end up seeing and sense that they don't matter because what matters is that we are on a deck and I'm sleepy from too much sun (but trying to rally because I won't admit that I am getting older) and my skin is tight and my hair is wild and fun from the salt air and we'll probably have to tiptoe in when we get home because my parents will be sleeping so before we do we'll have a last beer on the porch and reminisce about the day and about the time that M. ran their golf cart into the neighbor's house (sorry, Aunt Bonnie) and know that even if things are shitty today, they will be ok.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Elm City Dad

Left me absolutely breathless with his latest post where he talks about changing in order to exist alongside that fact that his beautiful Silas no longer does:

He will never change, and I cannot do anything else.

I am not joking when I say that this is now printed out and sitting in my day bag. I am waiting for the moment to share it with M. Because I think he will find some peace in knowing that we, that he, is not alone. That he is not the only one that expends so much effort to simply try and exist in a state remotely similar to what he was before. Happy. I gasped when I read these lines. Because they are so painfully true:

I’ve been living with this fact for 8 months now and I’m just completely fucking exhausted by the daily wrestling match between what I want and what I have. So I’m trying to stop that internal battle and simply resign myself to the facts at hand.

There is resignation here, but not of the hopeless kind. At least, that is not how I read it (or internalized it)

I think you should go read it too.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I might just have to come to terms with the fact that I will not be able to get pregnant again. Ever.

That our few moments with Isa and Jovi is all we're going to get. Ever.

And dammit. This is pretty hard to bear right now. Especially when, you know, the world doesn't stop while you need to comprehend and process your own little corner of it, does it? (This post is taking me ages to write because I am working, rescheduling, emailing, pretending to be ok.)

21 days of 8 mg of estrogen daily and what do I have to show for it? An endometrium that is a measly 4.7 mm. Entirely too thin for, for anything. Possible reasons? Microscopic scarring. As my RE explained, a pregnant uterus is incredibly sensitive. To remove living tissue from it in that state could easily result in permanent damage.

Living Tissue.
Permanent Damage.

And just as I thought that clouds had lifted, that we were getting on with our lives, actually quite well lately, it all comes flooding back. Fuck me, I was pregnant. There were babies inside of my belly. Beautiful ones. I had two daughters. And I may never have the opportunity to try again.

The fact that my RE even felt a need for this follow up ultrasound after a second hysteroscopy should have made me wary. And it did. But maybe I was just so pleased that the first hysteroscopy didn't reveal massive scarring, I let myself get hopeful again. To start thinking about new ob/gyns, unearthing maternity clothes, to contemplate how I would be if I were able to get pregnant again.


My RE is great. She really is. And at this point, I am pretty sure I am a research paper waiting to be written, or at least a pet project for her. She must have said ten times yesterday, "I don't give up this easily. There is more we can do." Well, great. In the meantime, I am desolate. Sick of the hypocrisy of organic foods and green living while meanwhile super-sizing my hormone levels and forcing my body to deal with all kinds of artificial junk. Inserted. Ingested. Forced. I am sick of being angry and hurt and hating everybody. I am weary of heavy sleeps and strange dreams filled with distorted bodies and fucked up story lines that leave me unsettled for the rest of the day. Really, really tired of it. My misanthropy is just a few layers below skin on a good day. And today is not a good day.

The only things that kept me from throwing myself on the train tracks yesterday were texts from M and, oddly enough, one of my old posts that I reread as I sniffled to myself on the same seat, in the same station, for almost the same reason, almost a year ago.

I wrote this
just a week before our (successful) FET, when after weeks of everything you are supposed to do and nothing you are not supposed to do landed me an endometrium measuring 6.0. Not as sucky as 4.7, but not far off. Last time, this strategy worked. I am hoping it will again.

So I spend this week ingesting, and now inserting, estrogen into my body and go back next week for a wand redux and pray that there is a notable improvement. From there, I will probably add progesterone to the mix, just as if I was gearing up for a transfer. After a few days, RE will take a swab of my uterus to see if I am "in phase" (if my body and my RE are on the same page as far as where they think I should be in a cycle.)

If I am, then I do believe we aim for a transfer ASAP.

If I am not, well, that's a conversation I don't want to have with myself right now.

M. is my strength. It seems he has already inflicted this self-torture on himself and has landed on the other side. Not easily, not peacefully, but he is definitely at a place right now where I am not. He says we have more than we ever thought possible, meaning, two daughters. I think that and immediately think, yes, two dead daughters and more heartache, self-doubt and questioning of my sanity than I ever, ever, ever thought possible. Yes, this is true.

I have to keep living. I have to hope for the best. I have to get dressed now and put on a face that completely conceals what we have just been talking about right now. Because the world doesn't stop while you need to comprehend and process your own little corner of it. And what's more, for the most part, I think the rest of the world could really give a shit about it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

ISO Julie

Dear Julie,

You just left me a comment. And you shared your story and your blog name. And I accepted it and couldn't wait to go back when I had a few minutes to delve into it and get to know you. And now, the comment it is lost. At least, I can't find it. Ah Blogger, why can't you make it easy??

I'm so sorry to be so public in my request, but would you please email me (

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Where I Get Totally Vulgar

So, as of about 2 weeks ago, I can now "run" 5K and not feel like I'm going to die.

Run is in quotes because if you saw me, it would probably look more like a shuffle. And I'm still pretty shy about it so I choose a less-traveled path which this week has become an obstacle course of goose poop and hissing daddy geese (sorry, sorry. yes I see your babies there no I'm not going to shuffle on them. relax! please!) And when I say 5K it is probably more truthful to say that I run 2.5K, stop, say hi to Isa's and Jovi's trees. Touch them, pant on them, walk around for a few seconds and then run the 2.5K home.

I love having a reason to see the trees. And I really do like the time alone. I wish I had a recorder for my brain on my runs because I think anyone else listening would think I was: a.) hilarious or b.) nuts. We all have our inner voices and the one that seems to work best for me running is one that encourages, teases, threatens, negotiates, yells back and then resigns itself to keep going. It always has to be a combination. I don't do well with people telling me what to do, even if that person is myself.

One of the things I do while running is compose blog posts in my head. I usually "write" a couple on a run (me: think fast. run slow. except, of course, when being chased by geese.) You can imagine my disappointment when I get home and the screen is blank. Sometimes I actually could have sworn I wrote something. But no. That was just me talking to myself again. Which, in hindsight, is probably better for all of us sometimes.

But this is something I have to share. I can't hold it in.

This weekend, I had the craziest dream. I know I've said that before but this time I mean it.

In my dream, I was waiting to talk with a new specialist at the hospital about our next attempt at babymaking. She was young and pretty and looked pretty sharp. She brought me in and said, "just hang on for a minute," she said. "I have a call into a specialist. A proctologist"


"Yes, well, we've already tried gearing up your p*ssy and that hasn't gone very well has it? Might as well see if we have any better luck with your ass."

Yes. I that's what she said. P word and all.

And I was left sputtering and speechless and then I woke up and started to laugh.

And my husband thought I was crazy (and I haven't even told him the dream yet) so I went for a run.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Two Minute Post

  • I'm fine. Souped up on estrogen after the last hysteroscopy, but fine.
  • Hysteroscopy findings: little piece of scar tissue up in a corner and my lining (endometrium) was apparently super thin. (No shit, sherlocks. You told me to stay undrugged until the procedure. No drugs = no lining. That's how I do.) So, looks like we're taking a crash course of E. (8 mg a day?!?) to see how thick we can get it. Eyes are buggy. Cooch feels funny, but whatever. Next check: May 21.
  • Birthday was good. Any other year, it would have been fantastic, ranking among the top 5, but, well, the whole "go out and have a good time" we still haven't quite mastered yet when we are by ourselves. Note to self: surround ourselves with friends whenever possible.
  • DID go have a mojito for Angie AND took a stroll around the Reading Terminal Market, as suggested. Thanks so much for your great advice. We knew exactly where to start our adventures.
  • Budget season has begun in PA - working OT to make sure services to children and adults with autism or developmental disabilities aren't gutted. Fine tuning funding requests, honing our arguments, making the rounds, trying to keep our members on alert, but not panicked. Active, but still focused.
  • Went to work today without brushing my teeth or making our bed. My fault. Crashed back asleep after M. left for work and didn't wake up until I got a crisis email from my boss. Luckily, I work (literally) across the street.
  • If I sound rushed/frazzled/amped on caffeine, its because I am. But that's ok. I'm in a zone. Just don't tell M. about the caffeine part.