And oh, the pain.

I had no idea how quickly all of my optimism could be washed away.  I had no idea I could miss something I never had.  I had no idea that it actually could feel worse than before.

Last time I wrote, I was talking about how I had 4 follicles growing.  I didn’t surge when the doctor thought I would.  I went back the next day, Tuesday, and saw Dr. C who said that rather than wait any longer, she wanted to give me a trigger shot to force ovulation.  She said that there were two follicles that were the same size and there was a “backup” as well and since I was on cycle day 18, she wanted to go ahead and force ovulation to happen.  So in addition to my almost daily internal ultrasounds and having a needle shoved into my veins more often than most people would like, I got to get a shot.  In my stomach.  I thought Cody was going to pass out and I was going to either be a second before or after him.  Thankfully, he was fine, I was fine, and the needle didn’t hurt at all.  I was told to light some candles and get busy on Wednesday and Thursday and come back to the clinic on Friday.

Well no pressure or anything…  sex when you’re told when to do it: not so enjoyable.  Knowing everything is (ha.ha.) riding on it zaps away most of the fun to that act.  We did what we needed to do and I was sure that this was going to be it.  I foolishly convinced myself that it was just going to work, nothing else to it.  1.  We knew the exact right time to do what we needed to do.  2.  I had 3 eggs to rely on – that’s got to help a lot!  3.  We would have conceived on Valentine’s Day.

On Friday, I saw Dr. R again… he told me that yes, I did ovulate and that I released 3 eggs.  I was told to come back in a week for blood work to make sure my levels for some hormone or another were right.  After that test, I would be called if something was too low.  I never got the call, so I went about life as normally as I could.  One week later (yesterday), I was making a much longer drive to the clinic for a pregnancy test.

The time between the trigger shot and the pregnancy test might as well have been a month long.  It was also torture for me.  I researched anything I could – which could not have been good for my mental health.  I also had some mood swings, I was exhausted, my entire body was tender, and the cramps.  Ohhhhh, the cramps.  I looked all of this up.  Was it a side effect to the shot?  Was it a sign of pregnancy?  What “day past ovulation” was I?  What are typical pregnancy indicators on that day?  Was it my period?  All of the things I was feeling was very typical to how my period normally starts – but something would be just slightly different (example:  I get cramps a day or two before my period starts, but these cramps were over a week before my scheduled period).  And because there was a slight difference, I convinced myself that it was going to be pregnancy.  I looked up forums online and was delighted to read that so many women thought that Aunt Flo was making an appearance, only to find out that they were pregnant.  Maybe it would be the same for me.

I didn’t allow myself to be openly optimistic about it.  I consistently told Cody that I thought my period was coming.  I told him I’d be insane to believe that we’d be successful on the first try.  I also started looking at baby nursery themes on Pinterest.  I’d pin something – but to a private board so no one who “follows” me would know that I was even trying to get pregnant.  Or wishing, praying, and hoping that it was going to happen soon.

The night before my pregnancy test, the morning of the test, right after the test, and while I was waiting for my results, I went to the washroom no less than 20 times to make sure I didn’t get my period.  There was nothing (much to my delight!) and I figured that it had to mean I was going to me a Mama.  Afterall, how can your period be late when you’ve had so much intervention to making sure it was a “perfect” cycle?  Shouldn’t that mean you should have your period on the exact right day or not at all since you’d have been successful?

I talked to the doctor while my blood was being drawn.  I asked her if there was even a good chance that it could have worked and she was so optimistic.  Why not? – she said.  I had had a perfect cycle, responded very well to all of the medications and Cody’s sperm was perfect.  There was, apparently, a good possibility that it would come back positive.  Not good enough, though.

I was to call back between 1 and 2 that afternoon.  I called at 1:05.  I counted down the 5 hours to that call.  When I identified who I was, I was transferred to another person to get my results.  Just the way she greeted me I knew the result… “Unfortunately, it came back negative this time…You’ll get your period and you come back here on the third day… meet with the doctor to see what to do next.”.

I did not anticipate how much worse it would be to hear my pregnancy test result from a stranger using what felt like a patronizing tone (but looking back, I see that it was empathy and/or sympathy).  I was humiliated to know that she felt sorry for me because my hopes were crushed right then and she knew I was going to bawl when we got off of the phone.  When I hung up with her, I don’t think I even told Cody the result before I burst into tears.

I could have filled a lake with tears.  I didn’t stop crying for a while.  I was so mad and frustrated.  When I calmed down enough to speak, I think I was able to convey to Cody that I was just sad and discouraged.  Why can’t I have a baby?  What could I have possibly done during my life to make it impossible to get (and stay) pregnant in 3 years of trying?

Later that night, I checked our voice-mail and there was a message for me.  My heart stopped and I thought it was the clinic calling to tell me there was a mistake!  I didn’t get my period – and still don’t have it – so maybe they were wrong!  Turns out it was an invitation to a make-up/makeover event.  Apt, I guess.  I’m sure I could buy some things to hide the redness in my face caused from crying… or something to make my face less puffy… or something to highlight my eyes, since the tears have made them look shiny and glossy.  Make me up so that no one know just how entirely devastated I am.


High Tides and Low Currents

On my birthday, I had the “pleasure” of visiting the fertility clinic at 7AM.  Most of you don’t know me – but I hate mornings.  I do not function well at all.  It took Cody at least 15 minutes to get me to open my eyes.  Another 10 to understand what was happening (he’d set up a surprise for me:  home-made “muffins” and decorated the house!).  Then we drove the 3 minutes to the clinic – but I was dropped off on the street and had to walk the rest of the way.

I am scared about how routine this is:  walk in; sign the sheet; be ushered back to Elvira the Vampire/Blood Drainer; go see Lena – who sees my lady parts more often than my husband, it seems; see the doctor; leave.  I guess if you do it once, you know what to do every time after.

Anyway, on my birthday, I’m sitting with Dr. C and she’s telling me that I’ve responded to the Femara very well.  I have two follicles and they are pretty much the same size.  What I needed to do then was come back on Friday and I’d be given instructions for the weekend.  I was not sure what that meant, but I was hopeful.  After all, 2 eggs seems better than 1 – now Cody’s boys have a better chance at reaching a goal line.

Friday came.  Same routine, except that when I met with the doctor, it was Dr. R.  I hadn’t met him before, he didn’t know me or Cody… I was wary that he had the wrong chart, because his outlook on our situation seemed different than Dr. C.  He told me that I had one dominant follicle and that everything was growing slower than usual.  He said it wasn’t a problem, but not to expect to ovulate that weekend.  I walked out of there frustrated and upset, feeling like my ovaries had let me down again.  I was also terrified that I was going to miss ovulation because the doctor wasn’t looking at the right information.  And I had to walk to the subway in a wicked snowstorm.  Life wasn’t so peachy at that moment.

I’ll save you the gory details, but Cody and I had a huge fight.  I will admit that I pretty much initiated it and might have been looking for a fight all along.  Eventually, I confessed that I was scared that all of this effort was going to result in nothing.  Cody forgave me, I forgave him – life continued.  The rest of the weekend was fine.  Work, pack, look for an apartment, work some more.

Today – crack of dawn came.  Wait… that’s a lie.  It was still dark when we left the house.  Cody and I headed to another appointment.  The only thing that was different was that I had to switch which arm my friendly vampire friend drew blood from since the right side was bruised from the last go.  Side note:  the left is starting to bruise already.  I’m starting to look like an addict.  Anyway, Lena did her thing and I went out to meet the doctor with my lovely, supportive husband.  As I was going into the room, I watched Lena put my chart into the little box for the doctor – so I know they had the right forms.  Anyway, Dr. C was walking around, so I was happy that I’d get to see her again.  …But she walked one way and in walked Dr. R again.  Don’t get me wrong – he is so friggen nice.  He’s sweet and charming, but last time I saw him, he was giving me what I felt was bad news.  He looked at my chart and was actually shocked.  He told me that I was responding very well to the medication.  He then read out some numbers I didn’t understand:  1.8, 1.6, 1.7, 1.5.  I looked at him, looked at Cody and said “Wait… there’s FOUR in there?”.  He nodded as I tried to get over my own shock and told me that something like 90% of women who respond have one follicle; 8 or 9% will have two; less that 1% have 3; it’s very rare for 4.  He told me that this was great news and Cody seemed overjoyed (God, I love seeing him look so happy.), and I was still shocked.  I was instructed to call the office at 12 to find out if my LH surge happened.  I was also told I should receive a gold star.

I called about 15 minutes ago… and it didn’t happen.  I’m not ready yet.  So back tomorrow, I go.  What vein they’re going to use, I have no idea.

And as I write this, I’m struggling with whether or not I should post it.  I’m so scared I’m going to jinx it if I talk about it.

Today, readers, I am all over the map.  I’ve experienced the high tides and low, strong currents this last week and a half.  And I don’t think the water is going to be getting any calmer anytime soon.