Dec 21, 2010

Welcome ICLW!

Welcome, ICLWers!

Ironically, I originally started this blog as a pregnancy blog when I became pregnant after our 2nd IUI. Stupidly optimistic, I thought the blog would be a great outlet for sharing our pregnancy with friends and family back in North America since we live abroad, officially catapulting myself head-first into the land of happy-go-lucky attention whoring Moms-to-be that we all love to despise. Long before we began to share news of our pregnancy or I went public with Journey to Baby G - The Puppies and Rainbows Version, we found out our baby had no heartbeat at our 7.5 week ultrasound.

After the loss, I felt a strong need to both write about my experiences for myself and to interact with others also grappling with infertility and pregnancy loss. This blog has obviously turned out much differently from what I originally intended, but I suppose our story also has ended up much differently than I had hoped just a few months ago. Already, I have benefited so much from being a part of this online community and I am daily humbled by the strength, grace, resilience and intelligence of the other women that populate it.

Currently, we are in the midst of our 3rd Clomid/IUI cycle. I was diagnosed with lean PCOS a few months ago, a diagnosis that was very surprising to me, since I definitely don't fit the classic PCOS picture. I am surprised by how different trying to conceive feels since the loss - perhaps because the loss is so recent.

On one hand, I am still shocked that we got pregnant at all to begin with. On the other hand, I am terrified that I will keep losing babies every time I get pregnant or that I won't get pregnant again. It seems like we keep falling on the wrong side of the statistics, so it is hard to have faith that one of these months it will finally be different. While I am excited to be back in the game, it is even harder to imagine myself pregnant with a healthy pregnancy and like everyone else, I hate not knowing how much pain it will take to get there or even if we will get there.

When we aren't obsessing over our future offspring, I bide my time in a research lab and Y operates on peoples' eyes with hands infinitely more coordinated and steady than my own.

Dec 18, 2010

I kidnap babies in my dreams

A few nights ago I was having a particularly fitful night of sleep. I woke up tired and with a slight recollection of having dreamt a lot. I didn't really think anything of it or waste any mental energy to figure out what I had been dreaming out. Not until I was on my way to work and a mother with the most beautiful baby sat next to me.

I know I stared for too long...inappropriately long. I've started staring at babies for longer than I think is really socially acceptable. At first I didn't notice that I had been doing it, but I am pretty sure you're not supposed to stare longingly like that. Anyway, then I suddenly remembered what I had been dreaming about. The fact that seeing this baby jogged my memory sort of creeped me out.

In my dream, I was with Y and for some reason we just happened to be at the hospital together waiting for something. We saw this baby boy, not an infant, maybe about a year old. Someone then explained to us that he had some terrible medical condition (maybe a social worker maybe a nurse...unclear). They told us that he was abandoned and that his parents didn't want him. The weird thing is, as far as I can remember in the dream, there was no formal adoption process. I just told Y that I wanted him so we took him home and he was ours. We became parents as simple as that - just a morning outing spent in a hospital waiting room:-/

The only conclusion I can come to is that I have some latent subconscious urge to take off with an unwanted child. I think it takes a special kind of crazy to have those kind of dreams (not the kind of happy-go-lucky, frilly pink dreams where you're pushing a healthy, beautiful baby in a stroller who got there by virtue of your uterus).

The only other baby-related dream I've had that competes in craziness is the one I had the night after we found out we were pregnant in October. In our dream, we were having our first ultrasound and the RE said quite matter-of-factly "The good news is that you have eight embryos implanted. The bad news is that none of them are viable as far as I can tell." Only my dreams reveal how truly crazy I am. In other news, CD1 surprised me out of nowhere on Thursday (I hadn't ovulated and was on CD32), so looks like we're back in the game. If all goes to plan, this cycle will be IUI #3. Tomorrow I go in for my CD3 (really CD4) bloodwork.

Dec 7, 2010

the waiting room game

During the past year, I have spent a lot of idle time twiddling my thumbs in the waiting room of the fertility clinic or the waiting room of the ultrasound clinic (about 50% of my monitoring ultrasounds have been at the fertility clinic, while the other half I've had at the ob/gyn ultrasound clinic located in the same hospital as the fertility clinic). I usually try to bring an article or book with me to pass the time, but I'm invariably too anxious to fully concentrate and instead end up using most of my time in the waiting room to assess the other clientele.

Perhaps my fascination with the other people in the waiting room stems partially from having never met any other IFers in real life (I am sure that we know couples we are struggling with IF, but none who have discussed it openly with us). I always wonder why the other women are there, what treatment they are doing, how long they've been trying, etc. I also tend to jump to conclusions about their story based on their attitude (some women come in grinning from ear to ear, others are crying, some are visibly worried or annoyed etc.).

At the ultrasound clinic, most of the women are visibly pregnant, there with spouses, and generally happy and excited, so it is easy to guess what their story must be. At the same time, you see plenty of women who aren't visibly pregnant and/or who appear nervous, worried, or sad. I bet that as an ob/gyn ultrasound technician you get to deliver mostly good news and spend most of your days among couples who are happy and excited, but that you also see your share of awful tragedy as well.

I have always found it interesting that those of us who occupy the fertility clinic waiting room often suffer so much alone in silence and use the internet to find comraderie and other women like ourselves and yet, we spend so much time physically among our own ranks in the waiting room, but do not speak a word. I am not saying that I wish people did speak to each other in the waiting room. In fact, I have pretty ambivalent feelings about being approached by anyone in that setting. Frankly, as nosy (and perhaps hypocritical) as I am, I enjoy my privacy and would rather not be questioned by strangers when I am feeling so anxious and vulnerable. I just think the dynamic is interesting. So, am I the only one who is so helplessly curious and nosy about all those other women in the waiting room or are you sizing me up, too? :)

Dec 2, 2010

Post-Miscarriage Follow-up

Today I had my miscarriage follow-up appointment with Prof. L. It was my first time back to the fertility clinic since the miscarriage, and let me tell you, I don't miss that place at all. First, the receptionists gave me a really hard time for being there at all, since appointments during the morning clinic hours are generally reserved for women who are actively cycling. Interestingly, the receptionist giving me the hardest time was the one who scheduled the freaking appointment with Prof. L. right there, who told her to schedule the appointment for that time. Of course I wanted to pull my hair out and I was feeling extra sensitive in general since it was my first time back after the miscarriage.

The good news is that the miscarriage is complete - both the ultrasound and exam confirmed this. I never thought I would be so relieved by the sight of an empty uterus. I just stopped spotting 2 days ago, so now we wait patiently until AF arrives. The plan is then to do another Clomid/IUI cycle, since that's what worked last time. We'll also repeat CD3 b/w, as well as testosterone and DHEAS. Also, I was clearly a little upset, both by discussing the miscarriage and by the hard time the receptionists gave me, but Prof. L. was super reassuring as usual, and encouraged me to call him directly on his cell phone to keep him posted or with any problems.

Crazy IF thought of the day while observing the throngs of new moms with over-priced strollers bedecked with over-priced accessories during my visit to the Mother & Child Center for my ultrasound: If I'm not pregnant by this time next year, I'm buying Harriet [the cat] a Bugaboo frog for Chanukah...with a little parasol.

In other news, I have a nasty cold with fever and left work early. Really, it's just an annoyance, but I still feel like crap.