Saturday, July 31, 2010

Two weeks later, 4th surgery scheduled

Time goes by so slow when we want it to go by fast. In an effort to help distract me from the wait, I started a new diet with my husband which included in a summary: giving up carbs and sugar for the first week of detox, took appetite's suppressants, stopped appetitte suppressants due to heart palpitations, Lost 4 lbs while trying to keep up with husband who has lost 8.5lbs. It is a diet which you eat protein only for 3 days, then gradually add back in vegetables/fruit and eventually good carbs ( cannot wait for that day).

Went to my RE appointment and had the bad nurse. I need to explain that my RE has two nurses which I call the bad and the good nurses. Very similar to the good/bad witches in the Wizard of Oz only in a fertility clinic. The bad nurse is a young woman who I am sure never reads my chart,has no idea why I am there and treats me like a block of time on her schedule. An example would be at an earlier appointment she said "our goal is for someday you will be pregnant." Hello!! Read my chart, I HAVE been pregnant - twice in fact and getting there is not the issue, keeping my baby is. The good nurse is an older woman who knows my history, who returns phone calls timely and who shows actual interest in my progress.

The bad nurse confirmed via ultrasound that the cyst on my left ovary did not reduce at all after 2 weeks of medication. As much as I tried not to cry, I explained my struggle and that I needed to hear from the doctor on the next step. She actually softened up and promised she would get with him that day and the would call me with the plan. She lied.

My work schedule got crazy and before I knew it 3 days went by and the bad nurse never called. On the 4th day I called and left a message(in a nice unpleasant tone) to please have dr return call about the plan. Thankfully within 2 hrs, the good nurse called (I am sure in her pink dress and magic wand). The good nurse informed me the dr reviewed my records and long story short - the cyst has to come out via surgery. It is set for either August 27 or September 2 due to the dr schedule and hospital availability. The good nurse will call on Monday to confirm date as there maybe some changes in calender but she did not want me to worry all weekend without answers(hence why I call her the "good" nurse).

So 4th surgery in 10 months. No trying in August or September and I feel the clock ticking ticking ticking. It will be one year in September since we first became pregnant and all we have to show for it will be 2 losses, and 4 surgeries - that is the grim reality. On the other hand, I am thankful we have a plan again and we are on track for more progress. I still resent(wrongly)those that are pregnant and have carefree deliveries but I focus on the hope that sometime, someday, we will be pregnant and we will be updating our family and friends of our progress.

I confess: I had a plan to have our first child by now. I had a plan to have begun preparing to conceive our second child by now. I had a plan to do this without a problem, without drs, without 4 surgeries. As I keep telling myself(in a daily mantra): I am not in control of the plan. I cannot control this process and the only one who can is God. I am thankful for my husband and our dogs and I must believe that God has a plan and it will be revealed to us in God's matter what I plan ( smile). Until then, I pray, I love my husband and I work on my diet and I hope. I hope for a solution, I hope for progress, I hope I can do this 4th surgery and conceive a child.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

In the Beginning.....

This journey had to start somewhere. In the beginning, it was just me. I never thought I would get married, never thought I wanted children. I often tell my husband, "I started to live the day I met you", (which is true) and that was 10 years ago. Now we have been happily married for 7 years and we have been through the ups and downs of married life. We have left the military, moved to a new state, bought our first house, found our first(sometime our second and third) civilian jobs, worked long hours to move up the corporate ladder, rescued one dog from SPCA, survived 4 hurricanes, gained weight, rescued second dog from Animal Shelter, but through it all we have loved and supported one another and built a strong marital foundation. I would not be here today but for my husband and there is nothing I would not do for him or with him.

So when I was about to turn 37, we decided it was time to start a human family ( the dogs are by far our first family). I went off the pill and we were not really trying and we were surprised when we became pregnant in September 2009. We were thrilled yet we were scared. We told no one but each other. I waited anxiously to go to my first OB appointment at 8 weeks. I had no symptoms ( other than a missed period) and I read every blog, every article, every web site on pregnancy and was really excited for this baby which was due June 2010 per the baby calender websites I checked 10 times a day and the baby web sites soon added to my favorites. Then 2 days before my first appointment I started bleeding. This is where the story takes a turn. The doctor said I had miscarried at 6 weeks,I had my first D & C on October 22, 2009. It is hard to describe to others the emotions that week created in me. Gone are the joy filled pregnancy moments. Gone are the plans, the nursery, telling family and friends and in its place are all these doubts and fears. Did I do something wrong? Did we wait to long to have children? Should I change my diet or lose weight to prevent miscarriage? Am I too stressed at work did that cause it? All of these anxieties filled my head and my heart. My dr not too concerned and said "just wait 2 cycles" and try again.

In the meantime, I read many books on miscarriages and loss. For the first time I tried yoga for relaxation, I began to record my basal temperature, I used ovulation kits and pre seed and just as predicted 2 cycles later we were pregnant again in February 2010 (Super Bowl Sunday). This time I was even more cautiously optimistic but I still held my breath. My doctor wanted to see me at 5 weeks this time because of our previous loss. My first appointment he said all looked good and I measured at the right size and that at my next appointment at 2 weeks later ( I would be 7 weeks) we should hear a heartbeat. I slowly began to breathe. I had loss of appetite and morning sickness ( another reminder that this was a different pregnancy). I started to believe again, to dream of this child due in October 2010. How would we tell our family and friends and when? How would my work schedule look in fall to take time off? Who would be the god parents? What color should we paint the nursery walls? These and other thoughts that fill your head when you are pregnant and no fear of loss. But there in the back of my head was that voice that told me to be cautious and go slow. When I checked in at the Dr office they gave me a welcome bag of new mom magazines, and giveaways and I asked the nurse to keep it. I just did not want to get ahead of myself because I was still scared. The nurse asked for payment for a future doctor visit, I asked to wait until we made it past the first trimester. This is the scar of miscarriage. Gone are all the free happy thoughts that this pregnancy will be fine. All the smiling pregnant women in the waiting room of my doctor's office with large round bellies and no doubts, no fears, no worries. Never again can I be a part of that group. My worst fears were realized at my next appointment. No heartbeat, no fetal development another miscarriage this time at 7 weeks. I had my second D & C on March 31, 2010.

This time the recovery was slow. I had such heartbreak and physical symptoms that I did not want to get out of bed in the morning( which is hard when you are a professional and no one at work knows you miscarried or why you do not come to work this week). When I went back to the doctor and he said that this was just "old eggs" and I could "try again next cycle" it was like a bell went off in my head. I had to so something other than "try again next cycle" There must be a reason for 2 losses in 6 months other than "old eggs". I was so saddened. I cried, I starved myself, I overate, I wallowed in pity, I watched tv for days, I read 10 books ( fiction) from the library in 2 weeks. I made my husband delete all the pregnancy and baby websites we added to our favorites list because when I went on the computer it was too hard to see those previous searches which had brought me such joy. I tried to do anything else but think about our second child we had lost. Then when none of the above worked. When the sun still rose every morning, and I had cried enough, written in a journal enough, read enough and nothing changed where we were in this process I dusted myself off, stood up and contacted a RE and began in April 2010 phase 2 of my reproductive journey searching for answers and babies.

My first visit with RE was re-asurring. He believed there was a physical cause for the multiple losses. He believed I had come to him at the right time ( as at 38 is the start of the down cycle of your egg inventory") we ran blood work and tests on both me and my husband. All of which came back normal. Then we did a dye x-ray of the uterus and found a fibroid in the top lining of my uterus. Time for another surgery ( my 3rd one in 9 months). The RE removed the fibroid and said my uterus looked good. The recovery was slower than the D& C and I had to have a place setter in my uterus while it healed which felt like I was sitting on a pin all the time. But despite the pain, bleeding on my follow up visit we were given a go ahead to try in July 2010 with a prescribed plan. We were going to have an ultrasound check on day 1 of my cycle, then a prescription for 5 days to stimulate ovulation, then more ultrasounds and then timed intercourse the weekend of July 23-24th. (For those of you who have been through this before I know you understand the process.) Once again I was so hopeful. I was healed, I had a plan and we were ready to be successful in July 2010.

At my day 1 appointment, the nurse gave me the bad news. A cyst was present on my left ovary and we could not use the prescriptions and we needed to wait a month while on birth control to see if the cyst would resolve itself or we had to face a 4th surgery. This event on July 13,2010 is the reason this blog is created.

I was devastated. I do not know how to describe to someone how much strength and courage it takes to get up each day and go to a dr appointment when the news has always been bad. You want to be hopeful but you want to be realistic. You hope for the best but you expect the worst. I cried and cried in the bathroom of the RE's office ( also has been done in my OB's office) until I could sneak out behind my sunglasses to the car and call my husband. Another set back and another possible surgery. I could barely function and I had to get to the office and act like nothing is wrong. I know this is not the same as our 2 previous losses but in the mental game of my fertility it might as well have been. Another look at the calender another potential 3 months of delays. I realized next month it would be a year since our first pregnancy and we have had no successes and huge losses. I was hurting. I stepped on the scale and realized I had gained 15 lbs since our first pregnancy. I was heartbroken. Nothing worked to ease my pain, so I went to the internet and I found blogs of other women who are struggling and I read their words and I realized(more than once) I could have written them. So from here on in I will join them and I will write them. I thank two women who inspired me to start this: Shandrea at and an unknown blog that played the video "While I'm Waiting" which inspired the title. Thank you for your courage and strength to share your journey with us and you will always be my inspirations.

So here we are "At the beginning" of my blog where, I realized that during this process there is one thing all of us do... "wait". We wait for our temperatures each day, we wait for ultrasounds, we wait to ovulate, we wait to have intercourse, we wait to take pregnancy tests, we wait for our levels to rise, we wait for our period to pass so we can try again, we wait for our next doctor appointment to find out our next step. We wait, we wait and we wait..sometimes with good and sometimes with bad results but no matter what we all wait.

Therefore, this is a blog about my wait to have a child and its ups and downs. This is a blog about what we do while we wait and even if no one reads it but me, I feel better sharing these emotions with someone other than my husband and my dogs ( both of which have been amazing). So if your curious to see how the story ends, (and I am very curious) let's get started and stay tuned. So "we wait" until July 27 for our next doctor appointment to see if the cyst is gone. What we do "while we're waiting" is the subject of the next post. Give me strength and keep me in your thoughts and prayers