Saturday, September 6, 2014

To Be Continued...

Let's see if I can stick to my guns and write a short post for ONCE (don't go placing any bets)... The fact that I'm exhausted and will probably fall asleep any min could be a good thing to help me out here. 

I have gotten so bad at updating this, but always have good intentions of keeping it current and blogging about all of our adventures. Maybe some day... for now I'll keep dreaming. 

Ok, so the "To Be Continued" title refers to our fertility journey. We have decided to take a break. So for now, hold your horses, be patient, and we'll be back after these messages. 

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 3 and 4 times, I'm pretty much just an idiot with her head in the clouds. 4 failed cycles. 4 times with super high hopes. I know I'm not an idiot and can see my family reading this, shaking their heads. No, I don't really mean it; but I'm allowed to feel it. And that's how I have felt about this whole thing. Shame on me for being a fool and believing in magic and miracles and happy endings. Shame, Shame, Shame. 

My last post (July) talked about how we started up again with the IUI process this summer, and that it was SUCH a hopeful cycle. I swore it would work, and then when it didn't, I was crushed. But we jumped right back and tried again. Only this time it was a much more intense protocol. We (my Dr, nurse, and I) thought that it didn't work because the Clomid thinned out my uterine lining too much. To take care of that and up my chances, I was given the following plan:

*5 days of pills...Instead of Clomid, I took Femara (or Letrozole) for 5 days. It does the same job as Clomid, but doesn't thin your lining. It also didn't have same effects on me. I wasn't super cranky or energetic, but I did get major awful/annoying headaches. And nothing made them go away except time. :(

*Injections for 4 days... This was new. In the past, I only had to do 1 injection of Ovidrel~ to bring on ovulation~ 36 hours prior to IUI procedure. This time I had to ADD 4 consecutive nights of injectables. I had to take a fertility drug called Gonal-F, which comes in pen form. I had to attach and change out the needles each night, and set the dial to the correct dose (75iu), then press it in, hold for 5 seconds, and release. I was used to a small sharps container and was used to shooting 1 needle in. This cycle I had to do 5 injections myself, so they gave me a giant sharps container. Welcome to the big leagues. These extra injections help grow and enhance the egg follicle(s) I guess. Not entirely sure, but they use this drug with IVF sometimes. 

Each night for shots (not the alcoholic kind), I would ask Scott to play some music to help pump me up. Sometimes he would choose a song for me, sometimes I would request one. But either way, he knew it had to be my kind of music. Something meaningful and/or make me want to jump around, and put me in an insta-good mood. I also have him record me doing injections, so I can play it back later and feel strong/accomplished. I made photo collages of each night too, so eventually I'll add those but they're on my phone and I'm currently on the mac. 

Our song choices this cycle:

Day 1 shots: "Forever"- Chris Brown (no, not a fan of him as a person anymore but I still love some of his music, especially this one. It was on the wedding episode of The Office, when Jim & Pam got married. I liked the song anyway, but have LOVED it since this moment. I even dance really silly to one particular part bc it reminds me of that episode. I miss that show.)

Day 2: "Waka Waka"- Shakira. This song makes me think of old school Zumba (from like 4+ years ago). It's one of my happy songs and always makes me want to dance, and reminds me of happy memories and happy people. 

Day 3: "Dirty Bit"~ Black Eyed Peas. Another old school Zumba song, tied to good memories and fun times. It always makes me want to dance and pumps me up. 

Day 4: "Life is a Highway"- the Rascal Flatts version. This is a great song anyway that we both like, it's in a Disney movie and it just rocks. But Scott chose it because the title reflects our journey. Life truly is a highway... in our sense maybe an extreme roller coaster. 

*Ovidrel injection~ the one I've done 3 other times, 2 of which I self-injected, and was the least concerned about. That is, until I realized there was way more liquid in this than what i was using the past 4 nights... and suddenly it scared the heck out of me! haha. 

The trigger shot song choice was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"- the Iz Kamakawiwoʻole. I think I have a whole post about this song. I just love it, always have. Ever since (maybe before) our wedding, honeymoon in Hawaii, and whatnot. It's on our wedding video, was in our wedding slideshow, and I've just always loved this song. Plus, I was seeing more rainbows this cycle, and stupidly thought they were signs again... shame on me. 

So, went through with IUI #4 with 2 good follicles (again) and good lining... everything was in play. It even occurred to me that our sperm donor's ID # matched up with A LOT this cycle. The first number was the cycle we were on, the second was how many eggs I had, and the last 2 numbers were the date IUI was happening on. When I realized this, I thought it HAD to be a sign, and that it was going to work, it's been written there for us all along. Nope... back to the shame thing. Just a weird crazy coincidence and a really really REALLY cruel joke on me. 

Fast forward 2 weeks again (2 weeks that had me getting imaginary early pregnancy symptoms), and bam, hello Aunt Flo. Mother Nature's sign of saying "Screw you." The Baby Nazi saying "No baby for you". 

I was crushed. I was pissed off, sad, frustrated, angry, mad, depressed, deflated, confused, stressed out. Keep in mind, this was at the end of 2 weeks of summer school- and about 10-12 days before school started. I was so relaxed all of July, and yet felt I had wasted all of August for nothing. Still not pregnant. Back to square 1. This isn't fair. 

I quickly calculated the possible dates of the next IUI if we started up right away again. What date came up? The FIRST day of school.... Are you freaking kidding me? I was already sad enough, and then this wrench was thrown in. I wanted to keep going, I want to always be one step closer to our positive test and to meeting our baby. But the first day of school? How can I possibly miss the first day of school for a medical procedure? Fertility treatments are SOOO time sensitive and dependent on what your body is doing, that you can't predict anything. But since it was close enough to the first day, give or take, I couldn't take any changes. Taking September's cycle off. *&%$ :( Stinks. Big time. 

I teach Kindergarten. I can't possibly justify missing the first day. Even other grades would make it hard~ but MAYBE people would be more understanding. (I prob would have canceled in other grades too, who am I kidding.) I stress myself out with the opening of school on a good year, the thought of throwing in fertility meds would just make me turn into a hyena or wildebeest in no time. Putting my personal life on hold because of  my job. Because I care too much what others think and need to set a good tone in my classroom for the year. It was the right thing to do. I had no choice. 

Scott was 100% supportive and by the time I got home, we both had come up with the same idea separately. He was the first to bring it up, though, and he was happy I was on board... Let's take a few months off. Get readjusted to school, the holidays are coming, we don't want to have a negative cycle right before the holidays and throw me into depression. 

This past failed cycle really really set me off. I had moments where I didn't feel myself and was so sad I was scaring myself. I had moments where I would just cry, nonstop. I had moments where I didn't want to do anything, and nothing cheered me up. I wasn't myself and would probably start slipping into a mini depression if I wasn't able to pick myself up, bounce back, and come up with lessons and positive lights to take from this. 

Our takeaway? This infertility ride is messing with us. It's tugging at us and testing our strength. It's stolen my focus and identity for a long time. It's caused me to be extra selfish and forget about Scott. It's caused me to focus only on my emotions and feelings, and not on my husband's. It's created an ugly tension on our relationship.... But now we realize it. We realize what the focus of the last 7 months (intense 7 months of hormone manipulation and time being measured by 2-week increments and IUI cycle stages. IUI, fail, repeat. IUI, miscarriage, break. IUI, fail, repeat. IUI, fail.... STOP!!)..but really it's eaten up just about 3 years of our time. We are almost at the 3 year month since deciding "We are going to try for a baby. We are ready to try and get pregnant. We're ready to become parents". The ups and downs are exhausting, draining, intense, depressive, and downright stressful. We just simply need a break. We need time to focus on us and just have fun being a married couple. Not a married, infertile couple. It's too consuming. It's been just us, Scott & Stace, for 15.5 years~ we haven't lost anyone. Once we have kids and they grow up and move on, it'll still be just the two of us. All you need is Love. We have to refocus on that, and get back to the rest when we feel it's right. I miss us, and just us. Yea, we'd LOVE to get pregnant and be parents. But it is way way way harder than we ever thought, and way harder than anyone realizes who just isn't in this boat. We STILL have people telling us to just relax and keep trying. No. It doesn't work without any sperm. There are no sperm. It just cannot happen. Scott is being treated for testosterone now, but contrary to belief, that will not help the situation. It would only make worse if he had any, because it's artificial hormones, so it won't cause spontaneous production.  So, we won't "relax and keep trying". I don't even want to try for a while. I need a break. I need to be a wife and a teacher. I need to just be Stace. I need to be away from hormones and meds and shots (unless they're in a shot glass or made with Jell-O). 

So, there it is. We are taking another break, until further notice, but this time by choice. I need to regain my life and my identity. Have fun with my husband, workout at the gym, be on my own schedule.

To be continued...


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