Packing November 17, 2010
I sit packing. I pull out one of the many boxes I have stock piled in anticipation of the move. It’s a Freedom Drug box, unmistakable with its big red PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL sticker. It’s not a recent one either. It’s one from the olden days, the days before Adam.
I use the box that once contained meds that helped me get Adam to pack his books, the children’s books that I feared would never be a part of my life. The moment is not lost on me.
Moving! October 25, 2010
Has it seriously been three months since my last post? Yeah, I officially suck.
I guess part of my excuse is that I’ve just been plain busy. The other half is that I don’t need this blog the way I used to. I guess that’s good and bad.
We finally got an offer on our house on 9/18, about 4 months after we listed it. Given the market in our neighborhood, that’s pretty darn good. Nothing is selling. Houses are just sitting on the market even after multiple price reductions. We are lucky (plus I worked my ass off to have the perfectly staged house for each and every showing.)
We just found a house to buy. We are under contract and are going through the post-inspection negotiations right now. We are moving into the exact neighborhood we wanted to move into, in a location within the neighborhood that cannot be beat. I cannot wait.
There is a lot on my plate right now. We’ve got to get through the sale of our house and the purchase of a new one. Plus, our new house (knock on wood) is a renovation project. We’ll be gutting the kitchen soon after we move and updating other parts of the house as well. I love a good project, so I should be set for the near future.
I am so happy to have not only found a buyer for our house, but to have found a house that Dan, Adam, and I all like. (Adam’s a hard sell, I tell ya.) There is a part of me, though, that realizes that this whole situation is bittersweet.
If our one and only post Adam IVF cycle had not ended in an exploding ectopic then things would be very different. There would be no new house. There would just be a new baby soon.
My sister in law (the one with the unplanned pregnancy) just had her baby this week. I would have been due soon. It’s hard.
Mostly I’m ok. I’m healing, truly. It’s just that sometimes I feel like I’ve passed a huge fork in the road and am glancing back every now and then. What would have the other fork have been like? I’ll never know.
I do know that I’m going to make the best of the fork I’m on, and I’m going to figure out the best way to do that. It’s not always easy, but it I think I can do it.
This house stuff has been great for me. Getting our house ready to put on the market helped me work through the post ectopic pain in a manageable way. Selling our house and working on stuff for the new one is helping me through the due date/SIL is having a baby time. To me, having serious projects are not a way to escape reality. They’re just a way to get through the initial pain, the hardest most grueling part for me, while allowing myself time to process the rest. That’s the real work.
So yeah, new house! New opportunities. I’m excited for me, but I’m even more excited for Adam. (He is amazing, I tell ya. A big boy! How did that happen?) Good things to come, I do believe.
What If? July 18, 2010
Several weeks ago I checked my mail only to find something from my IVF clinic. It’s weird to see that name in your mailbox after you’ve closed the door.
It turned out to be the annual statement for our sperm cyropreservation fees. Hmm, I thought. That’s odd. Didn’t we use our last vial of sperm on our “one try for a sibling” cycle this past spring? We did, didn’t we? Of course, I got it on the weekend so I was left to ponder over it until I could call the office Monday morning.
I couldn’t help but wonder what if there was some clerical error and we really did have another vial on ice? What would we do? Would we cycle again? Hold onto it? Have it destroyed? It’s hard to let yourself go there when you know the door is closed, but I couldn’t help myself.
I called that Monday, and the only clerical error was that someone had billed us when they shouldn’t have. There was no more sperm.
Most of the time I’m so busy living my life and chasing after my precious little man that I don’t think about the “what if’s.” Sometimes, though, they creep in.
Every now and then I think about how things would be if that pregnancy had implanted in my uterus instead of my tube. I think about what it would be like to be pregnant again. I think about what it would be like to have two. How can I not? Not after everything I went through.
Then I am reminded of reality. There are no more chances. I am lucky to be alive. I really am.
I love Adam more than anything, and I am so, so lucky to have him. So lucky! I don’t know how we got away with a live birth given our history, but I count my blessings daily.
Yes, I think about the baby that could have been. Sometimes, I do. It’s not every day. Just ever so often the “what if’s” creep in.
We are not the typical fertile couple. We can’t just procreate at the drop of a hat. We can’t decide what our “ideal” family size should be. It’s not that easy here in infertile land.
We are fortunate, though. We never thought we’d get to parent, and yet, here we are. We have a 3.5 year old who can make one forget about all of the other stuff in a split second. I guess one can be lucky and unlucky at the same time.
So, when the “what if’s” creep in, no matter how soul sucking they can be, I remind myself about what is. The Amanda that was stuck in IVF hell with no actual child in sight wouldn’t flinch at the “what if’s.” That’s why I can appreciate what we have. I know that there’s a difference between having nothing and having everything even when everything has an asterisk next to it.
Still Here June 25, 2010
What can I say? Sometimes I just get out of the habit of posting. I guess that just means that things are status quo around here, or as close as we get.
Our house is still on the market. Things are sloooowwww in our neighborhood. We had one low ball oral offer of $50K less than our (very reasonable) listing price. Um, no thank you. So, I keep folding the towels just so and vacuuming over vacuum marks just in case someone decides to actually come look at it.
I get these waves of becoming totally antsy to move ASAP, but then I remind myself of the reality of the situation. I really, really do want to move because I think it will benefit the whole family in numerous ways, but we can’t lose a bigillion dollars in the process either.
Adam is growing up, I tell ya. I started a post on this topic which I need to go back and finish, because it’s just crazy what a “big boy” he has become. I swear, I blinked and he’s almost 3.5.
So, that’s it in a nutshell. I’m just staying busy keeping our house neater than any house I’ve ever lived in while chasing after a toddler who will tell you himself that he “loves to make messes.” Even though I’d be a happier camper if someone swooped in tomorrow and bought our house, I can’t complain.
Shitty Day June 3, 2010
Today was not one of my bests. I woke up at 4:30 and could not go back to sleep. There was too much house stuff floating through my head.
So, I just got up early and told myself that it was going to be a good day. It is so not like me to think positively, but I figured I’d give it a try. It didn’t end up doing me any good.
We went and saw yet another rental. I’m getting tired of driving an hour round trip to look at all of these houses (and I’m sure Adam is, too, although he did get a trip to a new playground out of the deal today) but this one looked worth the drive. And it was. It had everything we needed, and it was in the perfect location.
So, we put an offer on it. Turns out that someone else did, too, and they got it. I don’t think it was a matter of money, because we offered full asking price (common for that area.) I guess they just liked the other folks better.
After that crappy news, I found out that the potential buyer who viewed our house yesterday decided to go with another house in our neighborhood. Apparently we were a close second, but a lot of good that does us.
On top of the house stuff Adam had a really bad day. And lots of little stuff got on my nerves, too. I forgot part of Adam’s lunch at home and had to go back. I forgot my laptop power cable at the apartment tonight, so it’s dead. I couldn’t find my apartment keys when I needed to lock up for the night. It was just too much.
And to top it all off, I managed to bust the bag containing the litter box remains while I was trying to hoist it into the apartment dumpster. I was literally covered in shit during my shitty day.
So, there are some changes on the horizon. I can no longer deal with the apartment stuff. Dan and I lived in various apartments for 10 years before we bought our house, but I just can’t deal with it anymore. I mean, we literally had to step around vomit in the stairwell for three days before someone came to clean it up (after two separate phone calls on my part.)
I’m tired of trying to keep up two places. I’m miss my kitties. I hate having to explain to Adam why he can’t be home during the day and can’t be in the apartment at night ad nauseum.
So while we will continue to pursue our rental search aggressively, we’re moving back into the house full time this weekend. We’ve got an open house on Sunday that I’d like to give every advantage to, so we’ll be moving the kitties and some of the stuff in the apartment back in after that’s over. (The rest will go into storage for the time being.)
Yes, it’s going to be hard to keep my house looking as perfectly as it does right now once we’re all back in it full time, but it can’t be as hard as what we’ve been doing. Hopefully we’ll find a rental soon that we can move into, but until then we’re going to keep living our lives. The alternative just plain sucks.
This House Stuff Makes My Head Hurt June 2, 2010
So, we’re facing two problems with this house stuff. The first is that there is more supply than demand in our neighborhood. The second is that there is more demand than supply where we want to move. You can see where this could be a problem. We haven’t had any offers on our house nor have we found a new place.
We’ve had two showings in the two weeks our house has been on the market. One turned out to be a lookie loo, and while the other said our house showed well, they decided not to buy in our neighborhood after all.
We do have a showing this evening. It’s a serious buyer, so at least that’s good. I can’t help but get my hopes up, but there’s no telling if they’re going to decide that our house is better than any other of the many homes on the market right now.
I have looked at many rental homes, and so far nothing has passed muster. Either they’ve been outdated and run down or nice but back up to massive power lines or bars. We’re looking at another one this afternoon, so I’m hoping for something better suited for us.
I knew this process wouldn’t be fast or easy, and that has proven to be true. I’m going crazy with the back and forth of our current living situation, so hopefully something good will come our way soon. Let’s hope so!
Coast Is Clear, I Think May 29, 2010
So, I kinda took my blog down for a few days. I’m back now, though.
My mom was visiting this week, and I was showing her something on my computer. I stupidly forgot about the perma-links at the top of my browser, one of which is to my blog. She said, “What’s Manana Banana?” Um, nothing?
I didn’t know if she’d go Googling or not (she knows the origins of the title of my blog,) so I shut down things for a bit. This wouldn’t have been the first time a family member has found my blog. Both my mother-in-law and father-in-law have found it in the past, independently of one another. My brother found it, too. It’s really not hard to find. I’ve asked them all to respect my privacy, and I hope that they have respected that.
This is my safe place. It’s also a place where I connect to others. So, there’s just no going password protected for me. I’ve seen what searches lead to my blog, and I’m not about to turn my back to those who are going through hell. At the same time, though, I’d like to think this is a place I can write without anyone looking over my shoulder.
So, I’m just going to assume that that’s the case. (Ahem, just in case anyone is reading that shouldn’t be.) I need this place, and I need others to be able to have access to it, for my benefit and theirs.
So, that’s that. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Down for Maintenance May 26, 2010
My blog will be on hiatus for a few days while I track some stats. I haven’t done that in a couple of years but feel the need to do so now due to a potential leak of said blog.
Not too much to report anyway. Staying busy with all of the house stuff. Haven’t sold ours. Haven’t found a new one. Still trying on both ends.
I’ll be back when the coast is clear.
For Sale May 19, 2010
Yesterday was our first full time day in the apartment. It sucked. I was ready to throw in the towel.
Today was a little better. I didn’t have to go back to the house three separate times to get things I had forgotten. The cat didn’t spend the entire day hiding behind the dryer. No cats pooped on the carpet in protest. No one spilled the entire contents of a water filter pitcher all over the wood floor in the kitchen (that would have been Adam.) No one took two freaking hours to fall asleep for nap (today was within normal limits.) So yeah, better.
Our house was listed today. We’ve got the sign up to make it official and everything. It’s nice to have it actually on the market now. Our pictures turned out really well (see?), and I am hoping so much that my hard work shows through, because I am exhausted!
This back and forth stuff sucks, but it is a luxury we have. Given the market in our neighborhood right now, we have to take every advantage we can get, and keeping our house looking perfect is one of them. It’s a pain in the ass to have to wake up early to make sure every bed is made, every blind is open, every towel is hung just so, every surface is spotless, but I’m hoping it will be worth it.
So now we do two things: keep our fingers fingers crossed that our house sells quickly and try really hard to find a new place to live. I’m not sure which is harder, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
One Heck of a Busy Weekend May 15, 2010
I am in the home stretch of getting our house ready to be put on the market. We’re close. And I’m exhausted.
It is definitely a buyer’s market in our neighborhood, so I am doing everything I can think of to give us an advantage. I’m sure I’m doing some things other people wouldn’t bother doing, but I’m hoping it pays off.
Today, in addition to the house preparations, we had a bit of moving to do. We really had wanted to find a rental house to move into closer into town before our house was listed, but that didn’t end up happening. The competition is fierce for nice rentals “inside the loop” as we Houstonians call it, so we haven’t found anything yet.
So, instead we got a short term lease on an apartment close to our neighborhood so we could have a “home away from home” during the day. That is what got moved into today.
I knew going into this that there would be no way I could keep up our house at the level it needed to be at (just shy of perfection) if we were living in it full time. Adam can make a mess of a room faster than I can clean it up, and while I’m fine with that on a general basis, it’s just not going to fly while our house is on the market.
Not to mention the fact that I do not want to have to deal with showings during nap time and all of that. And I didn’t want the kitties (and their related paraphernalia) to be in the house for showings, so we had to have a workable solution for that as well. So, an apartment it is.
Our Realtor is coming by tomorrow for another walk through. We’ll also be signing all of the paperwork then. The house cleaners are coming Monday morning. (Yes, I’m totally letting someone else do the scrubbing. I’m working my butt off as it is.) The photographer is coming Monday afternoon, and our house should be listed mid week next week.
If that wasn’t enough, my birthday was yesterday, and our 12th wedding anniversary is tomorrow. At least things aren’t boring, right?
Although it’s not easy, it’s good to be busy. It’s a little weird, but I enjoy working hard. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t enjoy working (as in a job for someone else) but I’ve always found it really rewarding to work hard for something I want or to help someone I know.
Off to crash now. Tomorrow’s another busy day.
This Day May 9, 2010
This day used to be one of the hardest of the year for me. I used to dread this day, this mother’s day.
Now today is a day to be thankful. It’s not a day where I expect gifts. It’s not a day I expect to be pampered.
And you know what? It’s ok that I didn’t get a mother’s day gift today. It’s ok that I spent my day pressure washing the patio and painting the front door surround (still getting the house ready) instead of having the day “off.”
It’s because I know what it feels like for today to be painful to the core. Now, despite the regularity of the day, I am happy to just feel grateful. No special anything needed, because this already feels pretty damn special.
My wish each and every mother’s day since I became a mom is that others who are still waiting finally get to welcome that day instead of fear it. Today is a day to reflect for me, and it’s also a day for me to think of everyone still in the trenches.
Yes, this year things are a little bittersweet given my recent loss, but I can honestly look past that for today. Today is about the fact that my little miracle man has made me a mom. Nothing can take that away.
I am lucky. I am damn lucky for today to be a good day instead of a bad. I honestly hope that everyone still waiting gets that, too.
WTF? May 6, 2010
My SIL included me an in email she sent out today containing a pregnancy update complete with multiple ultrasound pictures. She’s only a little further along than I would have been. It was like a knife through the heart.
Yes, she knows all that I went through. Obviously she’ll never get it, though.
It was so hard to see those pictures. So hard.
My New Plan B April 30, 2010
Every time I cycled pre-Adam, I had a Plan B in place. It was the only way I could get through it, knowing that there was something else waiting on the other side if it didn’t work. The same can be said this time around, although my new Plan B has not a thing to do with the reproductive system.
I knew that if our one and only post-Adam cycle failed, I’d need a change. I was right. I need to move in a different direction, and I think I am. We’re putting our house on the market soon and moving closer to the city center. Right now we live in the burbs, and I need something else.
Our house is nice, don’t get me wrong, but a house with 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms is a house for a big family. That’s not us. I’ve come to accept that it won’t ever be us, so on we move.
It’s really important to me to provide Adam with as much as I can. I’d love to be nearer to museums and the zoo and all the fun stuff that’s close in. Not to mention the fact that Dan works downtown, and we even drive in every weekend to do our grocery shopping.
So, that’s why I haven’t been posting. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to. It’s just because I’ve been busy. It is hard work getting a house ready to be put on the market, and I can only do so much during Adam’s nap time each day. (Although, I have to say that Adam is a fantastic helper when it comes to organization. He’s all about helping me do the “get the house ready projects.”)
It’s been good, though, really good. I always love a good project, and this is a pretty darn good one. It’s been the transition I’ve needed from “what could have been” to “what will be.”
There’s still a lot to do, although it seems like I’ve been working on this for quite a while. I actually started getting things going when the first pee stick was negative. The crazy betas and ectopic madness didn’t stop me from getting things moving. Heck, Adam and I were going through the house purging things we no longer needed while I had a time bomb ticking in me.
I’m not quite sure what I’ll do once it’s all done, but right now I’m enjoying the process. Yes, I’m exhausted, but it’s a good exhausted. Maybe it’s not what we planned, but things don’t always work out like you had originally hoped. All you can do is make the best of the situation, and it honestly feels like I’m doing even more than that. It feels like the fresh start we need right now.
Has It Really Been Six Years? April 19, 2010
I started this blog six years ago today. I can hardly believe I’ve been writing here that long.
Man, I’ve been through a lot in that time. When I started this blog we hadn’t even started IVF. Oh, we had been at the infertility thing for a while, but in hindsight we were just getting going.
It’s hard for me to tally it all up. I mean, really, who wants to sum up a big list of crappy events? Surgeries, failed cycles, pregnancy losses, and life threatening experiences don’t make the best set of bullet points. Despite all of the crap, despite our recent setbacks, despite the total hell we went through, I hope our happy ending (even though I see it more as a beginning) prevails throughout my writing.
I am lucky to have this space. I am lucky to have this community. And most of all, I am lucky to have come out on the other side with a fantastic little man.
So, thank you. Thank you to all of you who have shared in any of the past six years. I really appreciate it.
One Last Appointment April 13, 2010
Today I went in for my post op follow up. It was not fun to walk into my clinic again. That waiting room will never just be a waiting room for me. It’s the place where I flopped down on a sofa and moaned while my tube was bursting.
The follow up with my RE was fine. It was pretty uneventful. He just wanted to make sure I was healing ok. He said my incisions looked fine, etc.
He showed me the pictures from my surgery. They were pretty bad. My tube was huge and filled with blood, and there was blood spilling out everywhere. And then I got to look at the picture of my now tubeless right side. At least that one was all neat and bloodless.
So, I shook his hand and said that I wouldn’t be back. Then I walked out of the clinic and held back my tears. For such an easy appointment compared to so many that I’ve had, it wasn’t really all that easy.
The Occasional Sting April 9, 2010
I’m dealing well with everything that happened most of the time. I’m living my life, keeping busy, and not stopping to think about how much everything sucked. 95% of me has moved on. Every now and again, though, I get stung.
This week I took Adam to the dentist and saw a little girl that was in one of his activity classes a year ago. I looked up and saw her mother’s pregnant belly.
I opened my mail a couple of days ago only to find that I have already received an astounding bill from the hospital for my surgery.
I sold one of Adam’s baby things to a woman who said, “I used to have this exact same one and sold it after my second son stopped using it. And then oops! We’re having another.”
I mentioned to Adam’s gymnastics teacher who asked about our whereabouts the past few weeks that I had had unexpected surgery only to look over to see one of the other moms rubbing her eight month pregnant belly.
My brother called to check on how I was recovering only to slip in that he was out on an icee mission, because pregnant SIL had a craving.
I stumbled across my IVF folder while I was cleaning up and opened it only to be faced with the picture of the embryos we transferred this cycle. I closed it and put it back down where it was.
As much as I want to just move the heck on with everything, I have to acknowledge the loss. If only because there will be things that will sting for who knows how long. I can’t expect the world to change for me.
I’m done wondering why, because there will never be any answers to that question. It’s frustrating that things had to happen the way the did, but honestly, I’m used to ending up with crappy luck.
I never expected this cycle to work given our history, yet I still hoped. Hope got her ass kicked this time around, and it’s going to take some time for healing.
I guess that’s what I need to remember. I think things will sting less as time goes on. One day, hopefully soon, I will have all of the baby gear cleared out. I won’t have to look at it longingly anymore. And heck, maybe even one day pregnant bellies won’t set me off. One can hope, right?
I think I just need to give myself permission to have those moments for a while, though. Those moments where I think, “Yes, this sucked. Yes, it hurt me both physically and emotionally. Yes, I shouldn’t have had to go through it.” If I allow myself that, and if I allow myself to acknowledge that things are going to sting, then I’ll be able to look on the flip side, the side that has a gained strength through this trial, the side that can see the good through the bad. And then I’ll know that I really am ok.
A Week Plus a Day April 5, 2010
So, I’m eight days post rupturing ectopic surgery nightmare. I’m doing a lot better today than I was a week ago as one might expect. I’m healing, physically and emotionally. I’m not 100% on either front, but I’m getting there.
It’s been hard, though. I’m pretty tough when it comes to physical pain, but this was pretty bad. The surgery quickly took care of the horrific ectopic pain, but then I was left with the post surgical pain. That wasn’t a heck of a lot of fun either. At least they gave me drugs.
I’m slowly but surely getting there. I can wear pants now, so that’s good. I still can’t bend over without pain, but give me another few days. My incisions hurt and are itchy, but those, too, will get better. (Although I’m not sure that my belly button will ever see the light of day again. That’s gonna be an ugly scar.)
It’s been challenging to take care of an active three year old on top of all of this recovery stuff, but I’m not complaining, because he’s what makes the emotional recovery easier. When I had pregnancy losses before Adam the world seemed to stop spinning. My life just stopped. Not this time. Life goes on, because I have to keep up with him!
I am mad that things ended this way, but I’m ok. I don’t think I would be ok if I didn’t have Adam. I’m thankful that he makes my heart feel so full that I don’t notice the new holes as much.
I know how lucky I am. I talked to my IVF nurse today to schedule my post op visit next week. She said that my RE was viewing my surgery pictures, and there was so much blood, a great deal more than was seen on ultrasound. I’m lucky to have walked away from it all in mostly one piece.
I’m attempting to move forward, because the alternative just isn’t ok with me. I cannot sit here and dwell on the fact that I lost a potential baby and could have lost my life. Yes, I can acknowledge it and try to process it, but I cannot let it consume me.
I’ve been keeping busy despite the physical setbacks. Adam and I have been working on lots of projects, something he and I both like to do.
I’m also in the process of clearing out Adam’s baby gear. I gave a bunch to my brother for his baby to be and have sold some more. The rest will be donated soon enough.
I need to move on. I need to move forward. The only alternative is to get stuck, and that is not where I want to be. I have a miracle of a little man who needs me, and I love being his mom too much to not keep putting one foot in front of the other.
The Aftermath April 2, 2010
So, it’s been five days since my surgery. It’s nice to be able to say that I am recovering.
The physical part of this has been hard. I was in a ton of pain from the ectopic before surgery and was in a ton of pain afterward because of the surgery itself. Every day has been better, but I’m still not 100%. My incisions are still really sore, and I’m still just moving slower than I usually do.
The physical side has been the hardest part of this whole cycle. Instead of being able to lay around all day when I was all bloated from stims or being able to hide under the covers when I felt like crap from the Methotrexate shot, I had an active little man to chase around. (I’m so not complaining, mind you.) And I’ve been on my own since yesterday taking care of Adam. It’s not exactly easy given my current condition.
On the flip side, however, the emotional aspect of all of this is easier this time around. And it’s easier for the same reason the physical stuff is harder, Adam. Yes, this ectopic sucked, but it honestly didn’t break my heart into a million pieces like my previous losses did. He makes my heart whole no matter what. I cannot ask for more than him.
I haven’t cried since I left the hospital, and those tears were tears of pain more than anything. I don’t think I’m in denial. I think I had already grieved. I started when I saw those negative pregnancy tests. I continued when I saw those low betas. I had known it was bad news from the beginning. I had already closed the door.
Yes, I’m mad it turned out this way, but I am ok. I have to be. Unlike before, life goes on. It never really felt that way when I had failed cycle or pregnancy loss before Adam. Life stopped. The earth stopped spinning. It’s not like that now, though, and I’m thankful. I am sad that things didn’t work out the way we had hoped, but I am still so thankful for what we have and what lies ahead.
I think mostly, right now, I just feel sad for Adam. He will never know what it’s like to have a sibling. I know having a sibling isn’t always a recipe for a great relationship, but he’ll never even get the chance. I know he’ll be fine as an only child. It’s just a different road, ya know. It takes adjustment on everyone’s part.
I am doing things to start that adjustment process, to start moving on. I have already sorted through, photographed, and listed all of Adam’s baby gear for sale (the things that my brother didn’t want for his baby to be.) It’s hard to let go, but it’s also important to move forward.
I’ve always thought it was important for me to keep going, to keep moving, after a cycle. This time I’m not moving towards another cycle, but I am still moving forward.
I’m not really starting down a new road even though it feels like it a bit. We’re actually still on the same path we were before. I guess we just took a little detour there for a while. It will take some navigating to get back on track, but as long as we just keep on putting one foot in front of the other, we’ll be just fine.
Risk vs. Reward March 31, 2010
When we first found out that IVF was the only way we would even have a chance of conceiving a biological child, I was ready to sign up in a heartbeat. Do you think I fretted over the risks spelled out in the consent forms? Heck no. You see, it didn’t matter to me then what the risks were. I would have done anything.
I didn’t think of egg retrievals as surgeries with actual risks. I didn’t think of meds as having real, lasting side effects. I didn’t think about all of the things that could go wrong. I just wanted a baby, and I was willing to do whatever it took to get one.
I’m sure I’m not the only one. No one wants to read the fine print and think that it might happen to them. We all just want the happy ending.
Even after I had done multiple cycles and faced multiple setbacks, emotionally and physically, I was not going to stop. Pour more drugs into my body. Put me through more, and more, and more. I did not care. The potential reward was worth every single risk to me at that point.
Things are different now. I have my little man. And you know what? I really should have thought about the risks more going into this cycle. No, I’m not blaming myself for what happened, but I should have taken those blinders off this time around.
I guess it’s human nature to think that we’re not going to land in the x% of whatever bad stat applies to any given situation. I had no risk factors for an ectopic pregnancy going into this cycle. I’d never had one before. My tubes have always been fine. I’ve never had female factor infertility of any sort. My only risk factor was doing IVF itself.
I landed on the bad side of the odds, but that happens. I think sometimes we forget that it happens or just hope it will happen to someone else. IVF can be risky business, but the potential reward makes us overlook that sometimes.
I don’t think I ever truly took the risks of IVF seriously before last weekend. I couldn’t let myself really think about them before. To me, having a baby was always more important than wondering if IVF meds would leave a lasting effect on my body for years to come or worrying about whether something life threatening would come of a cycle. I needed to not think about that, because I had to keep going.
Well, now I do not. I can think about it all now. And if I really think about it, I know now that the risk is not worth it for me personally anymore. Sunday was the closest I’ve ever been to dying. I do not want to go back there anytime soon.
Obviously I could never have predicted what happened to me this cycle. I do regret cycling again, but I obviously can’t undo any of it. I can just be thankful now that I’m ok. I can be thankful and enjoy the reward I’ve already got, my little man. He’s just too precious to me to risk going through this hell again.
The Long Version, Episode II March 29, 2010
I woke up yesterday morning, and I hurt. It didn’t really surprise me. While I had not really been in pain the past few days, I was feeling the presence of the ectopic. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I could tell it was there. That combined with my high beta from Friday, and well, I knew that there was a chance that things weren’t going well in there.
After I got out of bed yesterday, I told Dan that I needed to go to the doctor. I wanted to take a shower before we left, but Dan insisted that we just go, the smart guy that he is. Dan also wasn’t about to let me drive myself anywhere at that point, so we loaded up Adam in the car and headed for my RE’s office.
I’m so thankful this happened in the morning when I knew my RE would be in the office for cycle monitoring. Any other time on the weekend, and I would have had to go to the ER.
It takes about 30 minutes to drive to my RE’s office without traffic, and my pain was getting worse along the way. At one point I told Dan that if I passed out that he was to take me straight to the ER instead of to the office.
We got to my RE’s office, and my nurse was one of the one’s working yesterday. I told her I needed an ultrasound, and she knew why. By that point I was hurting badly.
My RE did my ultrasound, and the gestational sac in my tube had grown. There appeared to be a yolk sac, too, and it looked like my tube was starting to rupture. So, surgery it was.
I went back out to the waiting room while I waited for the hospital to be notified. Dan and Adam had gone downstairs to get breakfast by that point, and I stupidly went down to tell them after I couldn’t get Dan on his cell phone. I needed to kiss Dan and hug Adam, but damn, by the time I made it back upstairs to my RE’s office, I was in bad shape.
I signed some consents and was wheeled over to the hospital. Dan and Adam had to go over and register me.
My nurse got me to the OR, and that is where the fun really began. I was in so much pain by that point. And then I had to pee in a cup for, get this, a pregnancy test, but I filled the cup with blood before I could pee in it. Yeah, it was bad.
The completely sucky part was that because 1) I wasn’t in the hospital system yet, and 2) I had not spoken to the anesthesiologist, no one could give me any pain meds. I laid on the bed in the OR prep room crying and begging for the nurses to give me something, anything, but they could not. It was pure agony.
I was alone again, because Adam certainly didn’t need to see me like that. It’s hard to hurt like that without anyone there to comfort you.
The torture continued when one of the nurses tried to start my IV in the vein in the inside of my wrist, right near the bony part. I don’t know why she picked that location, but she quickly collapsed my vein which hurt like hell. She finally got one started in my elbow pit (what? I’m the only one that calls that the elbow pit?) and then it was fine.
Finally the anesthesiologist came on the scene and after answering questions and signing consents, I was given some Demerol. Thank freaking goodness. I still hurt, but at least I could breathe.
Then I got to go back to the OR, and it didn’t take long before I was out. My RE performed the surgery, and it went well. He removed the ectopic and my right tube laparoscopically.
I recovered a little while in the hospital and then was allowed to go home. Thankfully the pain from the ectopic was gone after it was gone, but the post surgical pain hasn’t been fun either. At least now I’ve got some pain meds.
Needless to say, yesterday was a shitty day. In many ways, though, I feel lucky. Mostly, I just feel lucky that I survived it. Ectopics are scary stuff.
I feel lucky that it started to rupture when it did. There was a very small window of time that my RE was at the office yesterday. Thankfully I got to go straight there, and have an ultrasound done ASAP. My RE was the one who did the surgery, and that made me feel better, too. No ER nightmare. No random doctor who didn’t know me or trust me.
I’m lucky that it happened this week, because both my parents and Dan’s parents were free and planning to come over to Houston anyway. My parents came over yesterday afternoon and will be back tomorrow. Dan’s parents are here today and are staying a while to help out.
Obviously one never plans this kind of thing, but the timing really did work out.
I’m just glad it’s over now (knock on wood.) I really felt like a ticking time bomb this week, and I was. It’s a scary feeling.
In addition to the pain, I’m dealing with some emotional stuff. It’s weird to go from wanting an embryo to stick around for nine months to wanting it out of you stat. That same embryo that could have made a baby if it had implanted in the correct place could have killed me yesterday.
It’s also a weird feeling to be missing a piece of you. I honestly have no need for that tube from this point on, but it’s still strange to know that it’s not there anymore.
I’ll get through it all, though. I have no doubt. I really am doing ok given the circumstances. My body will heal (although I’m not sure my cute belly button will ever be the same). I’ll be out of pain one of these days. And my heart will heal, too. Maybe not immediately, but it will.
Because while this situation ended in a nightmare instead of a miracle, I’ve already got one of those at home. And even though he inadvertently jumps on my “bo-bos,” he’s the reason I can smile through my tears.older posts »