Monday, November 10, 2014

The cost of infertility

I have been thinking about the cost of infertility lately, and thinking about doing a series of posts on that topic.

This is not the monetary cost, but the price I paid physically, mentally, emotionally sometimes even socially. I have never really quantified all the things I have lost or given up in my quest to have a baby.

The first and foremost thing I feel like I have lost is "Me". The last 4 years I have been obsessed with trying to conceive. Initially, when we got pregnant within 4 months of trying, I was relieved, but then we miscarried. I kept thinking, never mind, it will happen again and quickly. It didnt and my obsession nearly tore me apart for I wanted to "fix" what I perceived was broken within me.

I have been soo focused on getting pregnant that if I take a brief pause, I realize that it is all I have focused on.

I have lost myself and my identity which I now simply do often define as an Inhospitable Womb or "broken".
 I have lost my ability to like myself.
I have lost my health as the pounds pile on.
I feel like somewhere on this journey, I have lost myself. I know its not the first time that I have come to this realization but I have somehow failed to do anything about it.

I dont recognize the tired looking face that looks back at me in the mirror, most days. If its not a tired face, its a bloated and swollen face.

The #1 thing that infertility has cost me is my relationship with myself. I am not sure if I will ever have the courage to look for myself again, to like myself again regardless of the outcome of this journey. I hope I do, I hope I can

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The scars of infertility


I walked out of my house today and glanced at the car parked on the street outside, I spotted a pretty pink princess on board sign.

I was alone in the car and spontaneously hrmphed. I dont know who the car belonged to but a gamut of emotions ran right through me.

Step 1: I immediately thought it was overboard rather than board
Step 2: I chided myself and my infertile mind that so was most definitely envious
Step 3: I admitted that how do I know I would not put up such a sign if I EVER managed to have a real live baby.
Step 4: I tried to sift through my feelings pre-infertility, post-infertility, denial, envy, longing

Inevitably after thinking about it for an hour I remembered, I am not a girly girl. I have been adamant that my infant baby girl will not be surrounded by all things pink.

Nothing wrong with it..absolutely nothing, its just that I love Blue and have always disliked pinks and reds.

I had shocked my husband when he realized that soon after marriage, I used to plan our nursery. Subtle colors, jungle themed, there was no room for pink or blue.

I remembered that, but not for an hour of anguishing at how bitter infertility had me. It took an hour for me to realize that infertility or not, I would never have a pink princess on board sticker on my car.

That is what infertility does, it messes with your mind. It makes you second guess your motives, and reactions.

I know I am not the person I was when I started this infertility journey. I often wonder about the scars that I ignore or the wounds that fester and never heal. I often wonder whether my judgments and reactions are marred by the ugly reality of infertility or whether I would have still reacted the same way before this journey.

Every experience changes you, for better or for worse and to struggle with something for 4+ years as I have, definitely leaves a mark the size of a sinkhole.

Friday, September 12, 2014

One Day.. One Step



I started writing a post about the last year and how it went I didn't publish the draft. I couldn't finish it, but I left this unfinished for a while too.

If there is anything the last year has taught me, if there is anything infertility has taught me, it is to take it one step at a time, one day at a time.

There are and always will be days I fall apart, there are and will be days where I flounder and I feel like I cannot go on. Thinking about how long this journey has been or will continue to be, it overwhelms me, so I think about that next step. Sometimes that is all I manage to think about.

If I can just put one foot in front of the other, keep on walking, that should eventually get me there right?

There is no right way to cope with losses, like yesterday it occurred to me that I would be planning for a shower soon with this most recent loss, that the baby was due in December. Of course, then I thought about the one that would have turned 3 in june or 2 in november. It just kinda devolved from there.

This morning as I edit this post and nibble on chocolate, I keep forcing myself to focus on my AF that is going to make an appearance next week, the next big clomid cycle coming up. It is a big one for DH & I went against Drs recommendation of IVF, we are going to have to make a decision soon on how many more clomid cycles. 

I cant think about turning 34, or that its been over 4 years of trying to get pregnant. More and more people around me in real life have become mothers, some know my journey, even they dont help. I hear things like " you can never sleep in again" "it is so much work to have babies" "havent watched a movie in ages". I bite my lips and hold that angry retort where I say I would trade it all in without a second thought. What is the point? They are not going to get it, are they?

One step at a time, one day at a time, its the only way I know to make it. So for now, I wait for the next step AF and focus everything on that.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hemat-oh-my

Hematoma, such an ugly word. In the past I've associated this word with a dire diagnosis on House.

You know the one where they're trying to figure out why this patient is dying and they blurt out hematoma as the horrendous diagnosis.

My first real life brush with a hematoma happened about a year ago this time, I went in for my follow up appointment after my myomectomy and voila they found a hematoma.

My dr made it sound like it wasn't a big deal. Will wait and see what happens, he said,  minor aspiration procedure if necessary, he said.

After my appointment when I told my family, there was a massive meltdown, I think of visions of me dying were playing on everyone's minds. We can be a little melodramatic as a family.

I learned to live with the pain that felt like an invisible bruise. When the doctor said it would heal, let's wait and watch, I thought 2 months, three tops. Here I m 13 months later with the hematoma a minor version of its former formidable self but still very much there.

Imagine my surprise when I learn now that the hard knot I m feeling on my side,  the site of a long gone lovanox bruise,  is in fact,  a hematoma.  Drumroll please

This one doesn't hurt,  this one just feels funny,  like a hard pebble I m afraid someone forgot inside me.  It's become a part of my routine during the day to check for its presence,  hoping it will go away.

The thing about hematomas and living with them,  it's yet another gift of infertility.  Yep I feel like infertility is the gift that keeps on giving.

But speaking of the gift of infertility, I did argue with my nurse today. We were talking about MTFHR and I asked her whether I need it to be on bio active folate. I explained to her that I spoke to an authority on MTFHR, who said that I needed to be on bio active folate.  My nurse was not amused, and explained to me in a rather serious tone that I was on metanx already. Later dr google tells me metanx is  bioactive and I argued with my nurse for nothing.

Yep so that happened.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The indignity of Infertility

I grew up in India and moved here as a teenager. I was lucky because even though I was born a girl in India, I was spared some of the deeper indignities of being just that, a girl in India. My family never seemed progressive to me but it amazed me as I grew up just how progressive they were in things that mattered. 

Imagine getting your period, its a rite of passage, isnt it? from being a girl to a woman. Well in India it is Step 1 of shame, since most religious ceremonies, places, etc do not allow women to enter or participate during their period. You have to declare, often to family members, friends, and teachers that you have your period and you cannot participate in something. You have to sit out, as you stand out with your lack of participating. 

Imagine not being able to go near the christmas tree on christmas morning because you have your period? Yeah something like that.. 

It wasnt till a few years after starting my period that I learned, that my friends endured a deeper hell of their own in a ritual that my family had abolished. They were in essence untouchable during their period, had their own seperate utensils and bedsheet they used to sleep on the hard tiled ground, couldnt use their own bed even. They couldnt touch anything in the house and no one could touch them. It was horrifying. My grandparents explained to me that it was a ritual, designed to help give women a break during a painful period that had been turned into something so corrupted and abhorring. 

It was years later that I realized, I was very lucky to be born at all, since such a large percentage of girl children even today are aborted in female infanticide in India. 

Becoming pregnant, giving birth are all such miraculous experiences that infertility corrupts for us. There is deep indignity in Infertility as you go week after week, for invasive procedures, for trans vaginal ultrasounds, hysteroscopies, hysterosonograms, hysterosalpingrams, inspections, pap smears. I lose count but you get the idea.

Once I read an article in Huffington Post where a woman talked about the horrifying experience that was a trans vaginal ultrasound. She was newly pregnant and likened it to being violated. 

Is it violating? maybe.

There is some deep resignation as you walk in week after week, undress from the waist down and get ready for the ultrasound. Some days I have an audience at my RE's office as they seem to be trying to find a new ultrasound tech and training them. 2 or 3 people were present when they thought I had an ectopic pregnancy because 2 eyes are better than one. Do I mind they ask, I shrug and say do what you have to.

 From the physician assistant that did my pap smear to the nurse that did my iui, the medical assistant that assisted during my d&c. They have all had a first rate view of my private parts. 

Some days I get frustrated at having to "spread my legs" again and again. DH was shocked once when I phrased it like that, but that in a nutshell is infertility. You do it again and again because you dont have a choice, & I dont mean what you might think. No I m still talking about getting ultrasounds and other invasive procedures, spreading your legs for them. 

I took for granted the indignity of being on a school trip and having to sit out because you cannot attend that ancient historical site that just happens to be religious in nature. I accepted the indignity of infertility with the procedures day in and out. Where do you draw the line though? Where is the fine line between sharing and not being ashamed of your infertility and your right as a woman to discuss bodily functions to privacy? My decision, that fine line lies in my decision and my choice. It has to be my choice to share, my choice to broadcast my treatments or lack of, my choice to discuss my infertility, MINE. 

Yesterday in a misguided attempt at worrying about me, DH shared details of my upcoming hysteroscopy with both sets of parents. I was appalled, it wasnt his to share. I suffer enough indignity with infertility without my private parts becoming dinner conversation. PRIVATE, not for public discussion.

Isnt it hard enough already without losing my choice in the process too?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Can I let go?

It is the first day of Paryushan for Jains. (My religion is Jainism, a little known religion originating in India, I am married to a Hindu, so I tend to straddle both worlds).

This 8 day long festival is unlike most religious festivals I know of, for it involves introspection, meditation, self control, penance and forgiveness.

I know, I know, for someone who claims to be an atheist or not religious, I talk an awful lot about religion. I also think even more about religion and where I stand with it. I stand usually forever confused.

I have often stripped away the rituals that have invaded the religion over the centuries and tried to reach the basic tenets, non violence, peaceful co-existence not just with people but the environment, spirituality and the essence of doing no wrong. I try to live by those principles and be a good human being first and foremost but yet I know I fall short. 

Anyway, these 8 days, I dont follow the dietary guidelines or the fasting rituals anymore. I may not goto the temple but I do force myself to reflect. 

I do force myself to reflect on the year that has just passed, to question whether I was a good human being, whether I have done everything I could to help people and tried to not intentionally hurt anyone.

The most important thing, I try to forgive. I try to forgive those grudges I have long held, to let go of the anger that is often building up inside me. When I utter those words out "Michami Dukkadam" I expect to honestly beg forgiveness from the world for intentionally or unintentinally causing harm and when I utter them in front of the mirror, to forgive myself.

For the last few years, just like this one, I know that I will not be forgiving myself. I am not ready. I am not ready to forgive myself and my body for the pain that it has caused me and those around me. I havent forgiven myself for failing at pregnancy, for its not motherhood I failed at. I never had a chance.

I will try, like the rest of the year, I will try harder during this 8 days to try and let go of some of that anger that is always simmering just under the edge, the anger that uses progesterone as an excuse to erupt.

Today as I began reflecting on my year, I realized I have one more person I am going to struggle to forgive, my brother. He has rail roaded and bull dozed over everyone's emotions in my family. He has hurt everyone and I am more angry over the pain my family felt than the pain I may have felt. I know I will not come close to forgiving him in these 8 days but I have to start, for me, not for him. 

He doesnt seek my forgiveness but I have to give it to him because its not fair to me to hold this anger or pain within me.

So I am going to spend the next 8 days thinking about my past year, my ttc journey and trying to let go of something I have clasped so tightly my proverbial knuckles have turned white. I may fail but I have to try.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The other wait....

Sometimes an anomaly becomes a habit and no longer feels out of place. In fact when things go back to normal, that change takes some getting used to.

I dont know how long I lived with my fibroids, but I have lived with irregular periods for 10+ years since college and stress and the advent of all nighters, caffeine and junk food to my diet. 

The fibroids were first discovered with my first pregnancy and removed in July 13 with a laprascopic myomectomy. 

It wasnt until these fibroids were removed and AF resumed gradually that I realized just how much they had been impacting my life.

The horrible lower back pains starting a week before AF, the sore boobs, the cramps all went away. It used to be that I used to take tylenol for strong pain long before my period started. Suddenly I found myself free, of all the pain and symptoms that I had accepted as a part of my life. 

My periods have been very short for the last ten years, and got shorter now lasting maybe 3 days.

Why am I thinking about this? As I wait for AF after stopping progesterone, its weird to be an adult afraid of being caught completely off guard. I have no symptoms preceding AF anymore, it doesnt co-operate and appear on a Sunday like clockwork for years (even if it was 2 or 3 months late, it was always Sunday). 

I dont miss the fibroids and the hurdles they represented in my ttc journey, I dont miss the pain, but I do miss having some warning that AF was going to grace me with her presence.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My savior

A lot of people on here started their blog or twitter account to survive infertility.  I remember I started it to tell myself that I was more than my infertility.  That was almost 2 years ago and I still go back and forth.

When I went through my myomectomy I briefly searched on twitter to find like minded ppl but there weren't any I thought. I didn't look too hard.  After that came hematoma and then 4 canceled clomid cycles.

My first failed clomid cycle followed by my first iui. I was pregnant again and during those 4 weeks of roller coaster ride the infertility community found me.

I think it saved me to know I wasn't alone.  I may be 1% of women that miscarry 3 consecutive times or more but I wasn't alone.  Part of me wishes I was,  for I wouldn't wish this on any one of these lovely women. But I wasn't alone.

There was relief,  comfort in finding someone to talk to that understood. Last cycle I had tried talking to fertile women in real life and no one really got it.  I wondered if I was over reacting with every high or low or they were under reacting.  This cycle that just failed I didn't utter a word to anyone in real life,  for I had twitter to share on.

Thank you to all you wonderful people for finding me,  saving me and being my friends. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Failed Cycle

As most of you know by now, my cycle failed. I got a BFN

Failed cycles suck, no doubt about it. 

All that secret hope, possibility come crashing down along with a reminder that all those painful lovanox shots, shoving suppositories and the gazillion pills I guzzled, well it was all for nothing.

Nothing, big Nothing. Am I surprised? Yes I honestly thought that since my first ever iui succeeded last time (atleast in getting me pregnant, I still miscarried) I thought this would be a piece of cake. I know and I kept telling DH not to get his hopes up, but I think both of us still hoped.

I really didnt want another hysteroscopy which waited at the end of this cycle, but here we go again down that roller coaster of joy. (Yes, I was hoping I would not only get pregnant but stay pregnant to avoid that hysteroscopy).

I like to think I am hormonal and that is why tears keep welling up in my eyes every so often since I went past 1 and knew it was a BFN. I cant really blame the hormones though can I? Nope I am just facing the weight of so many things.

I am turning 34 next month, I remember when I was hoping to be well on my way to pregnancy with 29. Age is just a number? but its really not, not when it comes to infertility is it?

I keep telling myself and DH that, I am over it. I will enjoy my month without hormonal rages, enjoy my birthday in a more calm fashion. Honestly who am I kidding, I would have easily given anything to be pregnant on my birthday.

DH is a trooper, with a brave smile but I know he is sad. Sometimes I feel worse for he isnt at fault at all. Its yet another month where he cannot be a father because my body has failed him and failed us yet again.

Its hard to push through the clouds and look for the sunshine. Its hard to not feel punished.

I know I will heal, today I am taking inspiration from a Calm Persistence and her strong spirit. 

The tears will stop, they always do. I will feel "reckless" in doing something crazy like painting my toenails or even coloring my hair. Yes I m a regular rebel.

It will not be another 1.5 years between BFPs, this time it will happen sooner (I hope) for hope is all my empty arms have.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A whole bunch of thoughts

I haven't blogged in a while, partially because its very difficult to write a good blog on the phone and I hate taking up a computer again after I get home from staring at one all day, and partially because I have been too busy or tired or negative and didn't want to spew the negativity on here.

My beta is Monday and I am in a stage of hopeful curiosity with stoic realism. I don't have a good gut feeling this time. I haven't from the beginning.  That doesn't mean I don't inherently wonder if this is the one, if it will still be a BFP. Sometimes it is even for weird reasons like trying to talk DH out of getting a motorcycle or avoiding yet another hysteroscopy.


What is on my mind? It has never escaped me that my beta is a day after Janmashtami (Hindu festival celebrating the birth Krishna.) Apparently Krishna is one of the rare hindu gods worshipped in a childlike form as well as adult. I have been told over and over again by oh so many people that praying to Baby Krishna will give me a baby. My Mother in Law has gifted me 3 Baby Krishnas, over the course of the years, hoping for a grandchild. Sometimes I do believe it and I do pray so hard but most times the cynic in me takes over and I stop praying.

Anyway, prayer is on my mind. My late grandma (the one who passed in April a week before the baby) was in a dream of mine 2 days ago again severely frowning at me and asking me to pray. It was a reminder of my childhood and teen years where she would constantly remind me of the need to pray and I would tell her my prayer is in the form of being a good human being for now. 

I consciously try not to tell people on twitter that I will pray for them. I wish them the absolute best and fervently hope things work out for them but I rarely manage to pray so why promise something I feel I will not keep up.

Even though my gut feeling says negative, I cant help but have a few rays of hope for Monday's beta. My fingers are crossed as I approach monday. I refuse to take  a home test because I know my warped brain will justify any result. A positive, well what if its left over booster trigger, a negative well it could just be early. 

In the meantime I am thinking of all the lovely ladies that have scans this week, particularly Dreaming of Rainbows and A Calm Persistence. (I do feel guilty that I havent done anything about a Calm Persistence's generous blogger award yet, I feel so undeserving with rarely blogging though).

Lately my blogs are all over the place and turn into incoherent rants. But I end it with the sad feeling that I miss the nausea from the trigger shot already. Nausea is always comforting its a sign that things are going the way they are supposed to and I cant help feel disappointed every time it disappears, its a habit now really.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raging Whoremones

Raging Whoremones (As Dreaming of Rainbows often refers to it). Well they are raging.

I know that 150 mg of clomid always has adverse effects on me in terms of my emotions. Before I thought I was losing my mind but then in March I had asked my nurse a very important question when she called to tell me that my estrogen came back at 1025, "What is the normal range?"

She said well, the normal range is like 200 but since u have multiple follicles, this is expected. Normally most people would have an estrogen level around 200, mine was 5 times that. Great fabulous!!

Estrogen makes me weepy, I cry and I am always afraid that my marriage is falling apart even though most days, most other days I know its not. 

Progesterone, makes me angry. My progesterone levels between the supplements and the high dose of clomid come back at a whopping 87. Normal is like 15, for me not on clomid my progesterone is single digits. Boy does it make me angry. 

so in review this is my ttc cycle

When on Clomid- Loopy and Dizzy
Post Clomid on Estrogen high - Weepy and exaggerated sensitivity
Progesterone High - There is only two levels Livid and slightly angry that I exist in

In case ure wondering I am currently in my weepy place. DH always forgets, it always catches him blindsided and yes I am choking up at the thought that he cant remember something that to me seems so simple.

Yes knowing my whoremones are making me cry or range uncontrollably and being able to stop it before it starts is two different things completely.

Yes I am saying this after I had a complete meltdown over 16 hours because DH didnt understand what was upsetting me. With hindsight "slight" over reaction, but that doesnt mean I can stop the next meltdown. Was it justified? yes but my normal reaction would have been mild irritation or being miffed, not, well you know, apocalyptic meltdown.

Monday, July 28, 2014

As predicted.. a Disaster

As I had predicted, my hysterosonogram was a disaster.

I did try to pump up my mood and thought I was being silly, so when I got there I was more relaxed and less agitated.

Everything was going smoothly, the doctor attempted to get the catheter in, all good, nope bad picture lets try again...

4 tries, with the speculum catheter (with and without balloon) and another instrument all going in all coming out..4 bunches of nothing. EXCEPT a whole lot of pain, yep at one point the pain/clomid gave me a dizzy spell and I fervently hoped that this entire debacle wouldnt be made worse by me passing out.

My Inhospitable Womb decided not to welcome even the saline, no picture.

Yep except this time my dr told me it wasnt my fault (and I even double checked with him  since in the past other drs told me it was something I was doing or not doing). 

He wants to do a hysteroscopy. I had asked several times before the procedure what it was they were looking for. He told me they like to make sure after a d&c or miscarriage that there isn't scar tissue. 

When he said hysteroscopy, a voice inside me cried out in relief, "So this cycle of clomid is cancelled then?" 

Turns out no, they are willing to wait it out and if i dont get pregnant, they will do the hysteroscopy next cycle.

This is just further proof in my irrational head, (or maybe I am being rational for the first time) that this cycle is doomed, nothing good is going to come from it. All the signs are there

I am convinced that this cycle wont end well either with a BFN or a miscarriage, but I am going to try and pull myself up out of this melancholy sense of doom and compartmentalize my infertility so it no longer overshadows everything (and I m not a complete doomsday naysayer on twitter).

Effing Fears

This weekend was a lot of thinking, realizing and maybe dealing with some of the harsh truths.

When I miscarried at the end of April, soon after my grandma passed away, I didnt really cry for either of them. I felt numb and incapable of shedding any tears. I thought I had become too desensitized to really deal with loss. Soon after I was focused intently on milestones, on my hcg becoming 0 and then having a cycle, the appointment with RE, you name it, I focused on it.

It wasnt until this weekend that I realized just how broken I have been. I was serene and calm during the last Clomid cycle, because somewhere inside me I had faith. I had faith they had fixed everything with me, the Lovanox shots, the thyroid meds, my body wouldnt betray me. So much so that at the time, my moniker online was Astha, the hindi word for Faith. I just had so much of it.

This time around, I just feel pure fear. I am inadvertently horrified of getting pregnant and miscarrying again. I hope that I wont and its reflected in when I figure out my due date etc but I don't really believe that hope. I keep thinking on a daily basis that my cycle will get cancelled, hoping even so I dont have to go through with miscarrying again. In my thoughts, its never getting pregnant, or becoming pregnant, just miscarrying again.

On a different note, I go in for my Hysterosonogram today, without DH since he really cant make it today. I am kinda antsy and very much nervous because of my history with the procedure. My first was a hysterosalpinogram with my 1st infertility dr and he was a jerk. The procedure was painful and he kept yelling at the nurses that I was not co-operating and they should make me. I was awake, I was right there. It was also my first procedure beyond an ultrasound and one of the first visits to an infertility clinic so my emotions were running high.

The second time, my hysterosonogram with my current dr was to map out my fibroids. EPIC disaster in that the fibroids were so big that he couldnt even do the procedure and I had to get an MRI instead. 

I just associate a foul taste in my mouth when it comes to this procedure now. Ech but its gotta be done so here goes nothing.




Thursday, July 24, 2014

Focusing on Concentration


I am focusing on concentration or concentrating on focusing, not sure which is which anymore.

One of the gifts of Clomid is usually the increasing inability of my mind to focus. My thoughts are fleeting and sometimes just beyond my ability to grasp that thought or hold on to it. 

I have had the gift/curse of being clomid free for 2 months now and its very apparent after 2 days on clomid, what its doing to me.

I am second guessing everything I do or write (even on blogs or twitter) because I am not sure it makes sense or is the right thing to say or ....

I often draw a blank, I forget my thought mid-thought or is it mid-sentence?

I am also confused about the most obvious decisions, yesterday I stood pondering over my stove at what I wanted to cook and if I really wanted to cook that. (I plan my meals ahead usually so I dont have to do just that).

I miss being able to think clearly, I miss being able to trust my thoughts.

I am also all over the place on ideas, one minute I want to use mod podge (never tried it before) and another I want to use stencils and paint up all my containers. I have probably thought of 17 projects today and deep down realistically (while I can still think a little bit) I know that I may never do a single one of them.

Its also apparent to my colleagues (from whom I thought I could hide my clomid use this time around) that I am back on clomid. My tells? I asked them.

- Constant headaches
-Mood swings about food, one minute I want it one minute I dont. Fries for instant, ehh not tasting as good as they would normally.
-Not being able to finish thoughts or being all over the place and constantly interrupting conversations with things that are VERY much off topic.

Finally the TILTED VISION & dizziness & hot flashes which usually doesnt happen so early but usually after day 3 or day 4 of clomid. I still have that joy to look forward to.

I think this blog entry makes sense, at least to me, not sure if its all over the place like my thoughts.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A twinge of something

There have been a host of  BFPs in the twitterverse lately. A lot of lovely and very deserving women are either getting pregnant or making it to the second trimester.

I am genuinely thrilled for all of them, excited even. However at the end of each day surrounded by the throng of good news, I find myself feeling a twinge of something.

Initially I assumed its regret that I am not one of those thrilled individuals with a BFP or heck even had the joy of listening to heartbeats.

I also assumed its frustration that I am still sitting on the bench unable to at least get my head in the game and try again. If I cant try, I cant be joyously announcing a BFP right?

I have since decided that its not regret and its not frustration, its very realistically fear.

I am fearful I will not be announcing a BFP soon
I am fearful I will never make it to the heartbeat stage
I am fearful that I will miscarry again
I am also fearful that I will be left standing alone and lose my newfound support as everyone moves on.

I try hard not to focus on the negative and fears though.

I hope that I have a BFP soon
I hope I do make it to the heartbeat stage
I hope I never miscarry again

I refuse to let that dark hole consume me, for it will consume me if I let my thoughts go down that road. I have to force the hope and the light else its all just despair.

For now I will continue to let the excitement for others and hope for myself dominate and hope it edges out that twinge of something

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why me?

Yesterday I was watching TV at my parents house and I randomly had a realization, " I am not being punished".

For years now probably I have oscillated back and forth in my thought that "Have I done something to deserve this?" 

As someone who is Jain (my religion) and married to a Hindu, Karma features big in our lives. I have always feared that my infertility is a punishment for some major faux pas I have committed. I have done something to deserve this.

Till Yesterday.

Yesterday I decided that for everyone I know who had Cancer, I thought they were magnificent people whose bodies just failed them. I didn't once think they must have done something to deserve this. For everyone who had Alzheimers or died young in a car crash (I know my fair share of all of the above), I never once thought that their faith deserted them or Karma came back to haunt them or they did something to deserve this. They were good people that just got dealt a bad hand.

So why am I so hard on myself? I have realized that I don't think I am being punished. I have always tried to be a good person to the best of my abilities and I also don't think God is that petty.

I am not being punished.
Its not our stars (astrology and superstition haunt every Indian till you fight it) and it isn't something that I can fix by wearing perfume, or changing my curtains or wearing an amulet.

God doesn't favor an amulet never has never will. You cant cure cancer with it, you wouldn't try so why infertility?

My body has just failed me, its not Cancer or recognized as an ailment but it is one. It is an epic fail on the part of my body.

My unhealthy lifestyle choices are haunting me, perhaps yes. 

I wish I had an explanation of why it is happening to me, or why its happening period. But I dont, it is happening and its unfortunately happening to both of us because of me.

However something that is a biological issue, or a medical one shouldn't turn into a theological angst on my existence, nor a superstitious one or astrological fault of the stars.

I know people will come at me every day but it is up to me to refuse to go down that rabbit hole ever again.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The shadow of gender selection


I was talking to someone in the Billing Department at my Doctor's office regarding the cost of IVF with ICSI and PGD today.

She hesitated before she mentioned that gender selection had an additional cost. I was very quick to defend my actions, I very quickly dismissed the gender selection and pointed out I was considering the procedure due to RPL. Gender of any child I had was definitely never an issue for me.

I have been plagued with guilt ever since for oh so many reasons. I did spend my early years in India and am very much aware of what gender selection and being Indian (even in origin) means.

Background: to those unaware, India has a huge issue of gender selection and female infanticide. The government there has made it illegal to reveal gender of the baby prior to birth due to female infanticide and ppl choosing to aborting the female child. Unfortunately it is still very much prevalent today and more so among the educated then the uneducated.

I have spent countless minutes wondering, if she asked me about gender selection because my name is Indian or am I over reacting. I have spent even more time being sad that this is still an issue in India. 

Some shadows, they always lurk in the cobwebs of the human mind dont they?


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

To IVF or to Clomid



We met with the Dr today regarding the results of genetic testing after last miscarriage (also my third). 

Brief History: ttc for 4 years now, 3 miscarriages. The third one was while I was on Lovanox and Baby Aspirin for MTFHR, thyroid meds and clomid to conceive. I still have the hematoma from my myomectomy last July but hopefully its going away soon (shrinking every month).

The genetic Testing results - Inconclusive not enough tissue to test (only maternal tissue was found).

The assumption is that this m/c was a result of a genetic abnormality (DH & I were cleared). 25 % of all pregnancies have genetic abnormalities, said the Dr.

The Dr would definitely like another hysterosonogram between CD6 and CD12 and since he was on his way out of the country today (Today is CD9) I am wasting a whole month waiting. I also have to decide by then, how I would like to proceed.

Dr said there were 4 options ahead for us
1) Clomid
2) Gonadotropins
3) IVF
4) IVF with ICSI and PGD 

I really only have to decide between #1 and #4. He recommends #4. DH is all for #4, I am trying to think it through.

Financially, I have enough left on my lifetime infertility benefits to cover 1 round of ivf, but the PGD testing will be another 4 to 5k that isn't covered.

With Clomid I have a higher chance of miscarrying, with IVF (& PGD) they will take the good quality eggs, the good quality embryos (PGD) hence lower chance of miscarrying (at least due to genetic issues).

I guess at the end of the day, I am familiar with Clomid and I know it works (I got pregnant during my 2nd cycle, but we opted for iui to maximize our chances.

I am not familiar with ivf and (the unfamiliar scares me a little). 

However if I were to be honest with myself, If i miscarry on Clomid, I know there is ivf waiting for me. If I miscarry on ivf, I feel like I am out of options.

No one can make the decision for me

Background on why DH is being impatient with me: in Feb 2012 (with my previous infertility dr) I got pregnant in same cycle as a hysterosalpinogram. It was a chemical and I miscarried by week 5. Previous Dr suspected polyps and wanted to do a hysteroscopy/myomectomy in same go. I hesitated went back to my ob/gyn who did the hysteroscopy. He confirmed no polyps but said my fibroids had to go. I asked DH to give me the summer to think about it, and find a dr willing to do laprascopic myomectomy. By fall of 12 I had a mysterious illness that lasted 3 months (Daily fevers of 102-103, night sweats and no diagnosis of what caused it, despite going to 3 drs) Needless to say by the time I recovered from that and found a dr and had the surgery it was July 13. I had wasted well over a year.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The ripple effect

After I miscarried on May 2nd, I shoved my feelings in a hole.  I decided I was going to not make my decisions around the baby.

My appointment for the results of genetic testing was set for today, but I threw caution to the wind and postponed it a week.  I was proud of this new attitude where I could not plan life around what if.

The inevitable happened,  I m on vacation (for which I postponed appointment), and I got AF after miscarriage.

The nurse despite my pleading said the Dr won't let me start clomid till after our appointment.  I m wasting a whole month.

I keep telling myself I wanted to wait 2 months after D&C anyway. I re-iterate to myself that this just gives my hematoma time to heal.  I keep convincing myself that my uterus,  sanity,  body and marriage could use a longer break.

Nothing works though,  for once I threw caution to the wind and extended my stay by a day,  not wondering what if.  That once was a mistake and I lose a month.

I have miscarried thrice,  I don't even know if my inhospitable womb can ever give up its ways but for now I have a week to constantly worry what the results of the genetic testing hold.

Once I threw a pebble in the water,  hoping the ripples wouldn't rock my boat so hard, they did.  That is usually my luck though isn't it?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My entire journey

I am not sure if i have ever sat down and outlined my entire journey with trying to conceive and trying to become a mom. Its been an emotional roller coaster every step of the way, that is for sure. We started trying to conceive during the summer of 2010, we had our first successful pregnancy test in September 2010. I was naive thinking that miscarriages happen but surely not to me. Every doctors appointment was a roller coaster of emotions. The first appointment there wasnt anything on the ultrasound, ectopic chemical words were thrown about I didn't understand. I googled, I self educated and I waited a week for my next appointment. We had a sac, we were thrilled, but my progesterone was too low and the supplements started. Week 7 a low heartbeat maybe it would become stronger, maybe it wouldnt. It didnt. I remember it crystal, November 7th we were told no heartbeat, I insisted on a second look which happened November 11th, still nothing. I felt like that tech didnt even try to placate me. November 12th, 2 days after Diwali and a day before my husband's birthday, I was getting a D&C. Right before the D&C I got a text that my cousin in Australia had a baby girl that day. Something I couldnt even properly digest. Unfortunately, event today when I think of that family, my first thought is that she was born the day my baby died. I named that baby Anamika, I dont know if it was a girl or a boy. Anamika means nameless, unknown. that is what that baby will be for me. I am kinda grateful to the tech who printed a picture out for me, I still have it. I was told miscarriages happen, I was told just try again. That was my intention but 2011 was rough. My husband and I dealt with the loss differently, and we drifted apart. The stress of it all and my refusal to cope properly meant I only had 4 periods all through the year of 2011. I went back to my ob-gyn who referred me to Infertility Specialist #1. A cervical biopsy and a hysterosalpinogram later he thought I had a polyp. He also assumed (no tests were done) that I had PCOS and put me on 4 pills of metformin a day. It was hell, I was dizzy constantly and thought I would pass out but I figured I should brave it for the sake of a future baby. I got pregnant accidentally and miscarried at 5 weeks. Infertility Specialist #1 was furious (which I didnt appreciate). He wantedme to have a hysteroscopy done to remove the polyp and during the time if he thought my fibroids were an issue, he would do a myomectomy. I was uncomfortable and wanted them done seperately, so I could plan my life which made him unhappy. The pressure made me nervous and I walked out of there never to return. My ob-gyn did the hysteroscopy and found no polyps but he did recommend an immediate myomectomy. I waivered, I faltered, I wanted it done laproscopically and couldnt find a dr to do it. By now we were well into 2012. September of 2012 I was taken sick with a fever of 103 (about september 10th) lasted 2.5 months. As inexplicably as it began, it went away. In the meantime, I lost 15 pounds, was sick daily and drs kept ruling out diseases without being able to understand what I actually was sick with. I got better and the fever never returned. 2013 - I finally found Infertility Specialist #2 He was also a very well known Laproscopic surgeon who was willing to do my myomectomy laprascopically. Several more procedures, tests and a 4 hour MRI later, I had my myomectomy. The myomectomy gave me the gift of a hematoma. Its been shrinking about 10% every month since october of 2013 but still has a long ways to go. Infertility Specialist #2 also said my thyroid levels were 3.5 and he wanted them below 2.5 so I am on 88mg of cinthroid daily. I also have a clotting disorder which makes it 60% more likely that I will miscarry hence I am on baby aspirin and lovanox (daily when i am trying) My progesterone levels are always questionable hence 150 mg of clomid (which gives me multiple follicles each month) and 400 mg of prometrium daily. Add in some supplements, pre-natals and metanx (that smells like fish, gross) and we round out my routine. I did get pregnant April of 2014 for a third time but the numbers didnt go up as they were supposed to and nothing on the ultrasound so miscarriage is imminent. At least this time I hope that it will be less than 2 years before I become pregnant again, and I hope that I will stay pregnant. I am 33 years old and I know my time is starting to run out for a healthy pregnancy but I have faith and hence I picked my moniker to be Astha which means faith.