I had my follow-up appointment (also known as the "why I didn't get pregnant" appointment) this morning with Dr. Vest. Since Sean was off from work today (LOVE Thansgiving weekend!) I dragged his ass along with me. Hey, If I have to get up early, then he's not allowed to sleep either!
So, we went over my file, and the cycle. He told me that there was no concrete reason as to why my eggs weren't as good as the last time. But, he kept saying that I did get pregnant back in August, so he has hope for me still. He also said that I am still young, by IVF standards-I am also, apparently, a lot younger than most of the patients that he sees. He did recommend that I entertain the thought of a laparoscopy though, to see what the hell is going on in there-if there is fluid in the left tube, he wants to cauterize the tube from the top; that way, the fluid can't back up into the uterus and fuck things up. He is hesitant to do this, or remove the tube, however, since the last HSG I had, 18 months ago, showed that the left tube was slightly open-to his thinking, there's always a chance that I could get pregnant naturally. But, in those 18 months, the tube could have completely closed-so what good is it, right? But, he feels that repeating the HSG really won't be beneficial, that if I have another procedure, it should be a lap.
Now, as to the right tube-I have a proximal blockage (a blockage that's at the top of the tube, near the uterus. In researching this, it's the easiest type of blockage to try to correct surgically. We have no idea whether the entire tube is blocked or not, since the HSG I had only showed that the contrast dye could not be visualized-it never went into that tube. Dr. Vest is interested in seeing what's up with that tube-ideally, if the tube is only blocked at that one spot, and open the rest of the way down to the ovary-it can be fixed and we can try this the old fashioned way. What a thought.
As to the medication cycle, he doesn't want to change my medications, since he thinks that I respond well to the Follistim. He did suggest that we might try an antagon cycle as opposed to Lupron-I'd go on birth control pills the cycle before, then start the Follistim on day 3, then add the Antagon. It would be less shots, but birth control pills SUCK. Argh.
I did ask for my medical records, though, at the end-my gyn did ask me to get them when I was there at the end of August, but I was so messed up after the miscarriage that I totally forgot to ask. Nursey P suggested that I should get the copy (which is good to have) and I can make copies on my own, so we arranged that. Dr. Vest did take a lot of notes, but told me repeadly that I need not make any decisions at this moment-he feels that I need some time to take this all in and make my own choices. Which he's right.
Yesterday it all finally hit me-the enormity of my situation, the fact that this will be the fourth holiday season that I am childless, and that there's such a void in my life these past three and a half years. We had to sing at a Thanksgiving mass, and one of the pieces, Abide with Me, just choked me up. I literally ran out of the rehearsal crying-it was a breaking point. I felt like a hypocrite, that I was singing words I didn't remotely believe at that moment:
Abide With Me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
I did manage to get myself together for the mass, but it was tough. I was going through the motions. Afterwards, A stopped me and asked me if I was okay, and I just broke down. He told me that when he saw me run out, he knew why (we hadn't told anyone yet that this cycle was a bust). He said that he thought to himself "She doesn't feel that she has anything to be thankful for", and he's right. But it felt good to let it out, at least for a little bit. And I felt so bad, because A has his own problems to deal with-his dad is very sick and in a nursing home two hours away, and he's been going back and forth to PA weekly. But he told me that I need to take a break, because he can see that I'm starting to unravel emotionally. Which is true-I feel like I'm on a carnival ride that won't stop to let me off, even though I desperately want to. A also said that I need time for me, to heal. Sean even suggested that the two of us go away on a vacation, to unwind and take time for us, without infertility trying to worm it's way in. Which kind of excites me-escapism is always a good thing.
I'm tired of feeling sad and angry. I hate having to make decisions about whether or not I should have more surgery and try this again. I finally asked Sean what he thought, since he tends to avoids answering these questions-he feels that he doesn't want to influence my decisions about my own body. But, I cornered him about what the doctor said. Sean said that he feels that I should go through with the lap and at least find out what the problem is, and if something could be corrected, at the very best, or removed to better our chances of another cycle, if we go that route. And, I know he's right, deep down. But I'm so tired and scared and bitter and frustrated and I just want to avoid it all.
But I can't-it's like a festering sore that won't heal. And, that 's what I resent most of all-that it won't go away and just leave me alone.