Sunday, January 30, 2005

A speedbump on the road to parenthood


I had my post-op appointment this past Wednesday, had my cycle day 3 bloodwork (that's where they check all my hormones) and a baseline ultrasound (what I and my IF chatgroup fondly call the "dildocam"), and a cyst was found on my left ovary. Now, that in itself isn't too horrible, since I have no pain from it, but it puts the kabosh on trying to start my first in-vitro cycle next month-apparently the stimulation drugs would cause the cyst to grow, possibly burst, and I probably wouldn't develop any good eggies on that side. So, I go back to the RE next week, and, next month, after almost three years, I get to go back on birth-control pills (woo-HOO) to see if they can shrink the cyst, and then, assuming it's gone, start all the lovely injectible drugs-so now we're talking about March into April. It isn't the end of the world, I know, but I had totally psyched myself up to getting this first cycle done immediately, and it's a bit of a let down. Ah, well, shit happens, I suppose........

We also got to take home a DVD and a videotape about injectible medications-how to prepare the meds, how to inject them-so that we're a bit more prepared for the class we have to take to learn to give the shots. My husband kept cringing at it, especially during the intramuscular (IM) shots, which are given right in the ass (and not by me, either-that shot requires two people to do). He finally told me that he didn't think that he'd be able to do it-he'd be too afraid that he'd fuck something up. Hey, at least he's being honest, and, truth be told, if he's that nervous perhaps I wouldn't want him around me, especially holding a two-inch needle in his hand and about to stick it in my ass like a dartboard. Thank God that my mother, mother-in law, and best friend are all nurses.

I also went back to work last Tuesday (we had a snow day on Monday-yay!), and was exhausted by Friday-I tried to make an effort to take it easy, but it's not that simple, especially when you're teaching all day. Everyone was so nice to me though-I hate missing so much work for these damn doctor appointments, but everyone (including my supervisor) said the same thing to me-your health should be your priority, what I'm going through is so much more important than any job, and that I need to create as stress-free an environment as possible for myself. So, I'm trying to take their advice, but it ain't easy, that's for sure......

I've decided to name the cyst Mr. Buzzkill, or Mr. B for short (and yes, it's male) because it's always good to know your enemy, and he will be vanquished!! ah HAHAHAHA...........

Friday, January 21, 2005

"I'm not shitting you, Senator, he's only this big...."

I'm baaaack........

OK, it wasn't too horrific-the worst part was the waiting (and waiting, and WAITING) that goes along with stuff like this. I have to say, the nursing staff at the hospital was incredibly caring and compassionate, especially during the mini-meltdown I had in the "holding area" right before the surgery. Also, I ended up having one of the best anesthesiologists in the hospital (according to my aunt, who's a nurse there) who was so nice-plus, once he pushed the Versed through my IV, they could have sawed off my leg with a dull butter knife for all I cared.....the next time I opened my eyes I was in post-op-yay!

But, the good news is-everything looks good, as normal as possible. Once the results of the biopsy come back in I'll feel a bit better (just to make sure that my endometrium is nice and ready for an embryo or two), but the RE gave us the green light to start the IVF!

So, I'm sore, bruised, a little bit dopey (from the Tylenol with Codeine), spotting, and really crampy, but, it's over, and I'm and sound.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Panic Attack

OK, today is not gonna be a fun day.

I didn't write about this before, maybe because I really didn't want to admit it to myself yet-you know, if you don't talk about it, it really isn't there-but this morning I'm about to embark on Phase II of my infertility journey. I'm going into the hospital this morning to have an operative hysteroscopy, in preparation for my first IVF cycle sometime in March. The doctor is doing a D&C (where they dilate your cervix and scrape out cells) to slightly widen the opening in my cervix (that way they can hopefully put in a cathether filled with a few fertilized embryos without any problems), an endometrial biopsy (to make sure that my lining of my uterus can effectively sustain a pregnancy) and a diagnostic hysteroscopy (to check my uterus and make sure that there isn't anything funny in there) all at the same time-amazingly enough, he tells me it will only be a 30 minute procedure.

I'm scared shitless. Truly, honestly, scared out of my mind.

Maybe I'm being a baby, I dunno. First of all, there's general anesthesia involved, which is scary-what if I wake up during the procedure? What if I don't wake up at all? Also, losing time is somewhat frightening to me. Then there's the fear that I'll be in a lot of pain afterwards. Not to mention the fear that, because of the urinary catheter they will undoubtly put in, I won't be able to pee afterward, which means that I can't leave to go home (they won't let you leave unless you can pee on your own). And, there's the IV-I kept having dreams all week about Sean pulling out my IV while I was waiting to go in. I'm so freaked out I'm afraid to go to sleep, because that will bring the morning on that much sooner.......

These are the thoughts that are racing through my head, that have been there for two or three weeks already, slyly reminding me and that, stubbornly, won't go away. These are the things that I cannot verbalize to anyone-not to my husband, to my parents, to my friends-without seeming like a huge, irrational idiot.

I know it isn't easy for Sean to see me dealing with this, especially when he's not the one with the problems conceiving. I'm sure that there's some guilt there. And, I know that I've been really bitchy the past few days-nerves, I suppose-and taken shit out on him. I'm just having a hard time dealing with this right now.

I totally wish that I could have taken a Valium tonight, just to calm myself down. But, alas, it is not to be, along with no food or drink after midnight, no jewelry and nail polish. Apparently, I'm allowed to keep my wedding band on, but I'm sure that will change too.

I know that in twelve hours or so I will be home, in bed, hopefully medicated, and I will say that it wasn't so bad, but I can't let myself think of that right now.

Boy, if I can get pregnant as a result of all of these tests, surgeries, injections, more surgery, and the like, it's totally worth it. Sometimes, the things that are most precious to you, the things you appreciate the most, are the things you have to fight for.

The isle of infertility-is sure ain't like "Survivor".

A brief (well, not so brief) background on my struggle with conception:

My husband and I have been TTC (trying to conceive, in fertility lingo) for two and a half years. We became concerned when, after awhile, there was nothing on the baby front, so we went to my GYN to see what the hell the problem was. He ordered an HSG-a hysterosalpingogram-which is a test done in the radiology dept of the hospital where they put a contrast dye into your whoo-ha and watch it through a fluroscope to see whether or not the dye effectively moves through your uterus and out your tubes. The test couldn't be completed the first time because the radiologist found that my cervix was too narrow to put the catheter and instruments in. Needless to say, I only had taken two Motrin before the procedure, it hurt like a motherfucker, and there was blood all over when I got up off the table-not pretty.

So, my GYN referred me to an RE (reproductive endocrinologist-you'll find that there's a lot of acronyms and abbreviations in the world of infertility), who was wonderful-she repeated the HSG two months later, along with the help of some smaller instruments, Captain Valium, and some lidocaine, and found that my issue is tubal infertility-My right tube is completely blocked from the bottom, and the left tube had some slight spillage of dye. An ultrasound confirmed these results, along with a bulging of my left tube toward the ovary-not a good sign. The RE gave us a choice, either have surgery, which could possibly work, but might leave post-op scarring (and there was no guarantee that they could fix anything), or proceed to IVF.

I was, needless to say, devastated.

Well, we thought it over, and decided on IVF. The procedure was developed for women with these kinds of problems. The RE gave us a great chance at conception, given that my hormone levels were normal and that my husband's sperm were in great condition. The hitch-our RE no longer performed IVF due to the fact that she was head of the obstetrics dept of the hospital, so we'd have to go elsewhere, which SUCKED. But, my gyn recommended someone that we're now going to, who is good-very intelligent, kinda wacky, but hey, if he can get me pregnant, that's all that matters. He gave us a 65% chance at conception with IVF, which is really good. I am prepared that it might not work the first (or second) time, but I think that this is the way to go.

I'm nervous, excited, scared, but ready-two and a half years is more than long enough.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Me and the boys enjoying the waves...

Me and the boys on our annual vacation