Monday, August 18, 2008

Yesterday was Rough

It started with my temp falling 3 points and I felt like I was aboard a lifeboat that had been pricked by a shark tooth in the middle of the ocean and was slowly sinking.
And then it got worse.

There’s a TTC group that meets twice a month at the NYC LGBT Center and I used to go to these meetings a lot in the beginning of my journey. The group also has a list serve where you can ask/answer questions. I was hoping it would be more of a support group, but it turned out to be more of an information gathering group—which is fine, but much harder to form meaningful relationships when everyone is a drop-in level. There were two women coming late last spring who were so overwhelmed and new to all of this and I gave them loads of information and referred them to my Fertility Center and my RE. I even saw them in the waiting room on their very first visit to Dr. VID and sat and talked with them awhile until they were called in. And then I never heard from them again. Until yesterday.
They posted a long response someone had asked on the list serve about ‘when do you know when to be aggressive?’
Turns out, they, at age 35, decided to be aggressive from the get go and are now 3 months pregnant.

When I read that it was like someone punched me in the stomach. I have handled every BFN with relative ease. “It’s not my time.” “I knew the timing was off.” Etc, etc. I think I’m holding up pretty well, all things considered and am in a good place about accepting fate. My life has been hard and spent waiting for something good to happen. This is hard and I’m pretty good at waiting. End of story.
But this news made me feel worse than 6 months of TTC and BFN’s.

I immediately felt so stupid that we’d been coasting along, trying to get pregnant without drugs, doing it au naturel (well as au naturel as one can get with assisted IUI’s). Why hadn’t we gotten more aggressive? Why didn’t we do IVF right from the beginning? What is wrong with us that we could possibly think we would be able to do this without extreme intervention? Why am I such an idiot?

K made me put on my running shoes and we went on a 2 hour walk down the river where she reminded me that we wanted to try to do this without drugs. Dr. VID thought I had a decent chance because my body was doing everything just as it should be. The girl who went right to IVF had many other issues going on that I didn’t and those issues pushed her and Dr. VID to get more aggressive from the beginning. We didn’t want to do IVF.
We didn’t???
We didn’t even want drugs???

It seems a million years away that thinking of where we were just seven months ago.

And it’s petty, but I’m jealous. I’m jealous that I sent them to my RE and they got pregnant and I’m not. I’m jealous, I’m mad, I’m angry.
None of these are pretty things and I know they will pass and really, I’m quite happy for the couple while still feeling jealous—if that’s possible.

I woke up at 4:30am this morning with an unsinkable feeling that I was on my way to IVF and why didn’t I just do that from the beginning?
So I broke all the rules and fixed myself at full caf latte because I am that convinced I am.not.pregnant.
This one hurts the worst.


Les Make Babies said...

Ugh - I'm so sorry about your day.

We have gone through a similar roller-coaster here. Now that we're on the IVF train, I've had many moments where I've felt so stupid that we have WASTED a year with unsuccessful whimpy IUI attempts. However, as I've thought about it and talked to my wife, we both agree that even if we would have done IVF on our first try, I would still be plagued with the fear that we did it wrong by reaching for intense medication too quickly.

At the beginning of this, I was not at all excited about the prospect of IVF, partly because of the expese but primarily because of the long list of heavy-duty injections involved. Speaking for us, the steps that have gotten us to this point, of pursuing and embracing IVF, have seemed necessary to a certain extent. I feel more confident and optimistic going into IVF having already experienced the intensity of injections and medication. I don't think I'd have this if we were going into IVF blind.

I'm really feeling for you guys.

Malea said...

I had no idea that being over 35.5 that I would be considered high risk. Being a woman of faith I have never saw my age as a obstacle and still feel like emotional and mental rediness is more important than age when thinking about bring a child into the world.

Well after I joined a fertility board and started reading all the stories of infertility or simple miscalculation in some instances I decided I will go the most agressive route available when I start conception.

I want 4 or more kids and I'm getting a late start.Two uterus might help but who knows what my partners fertility situation will be.

imo we romanticise the whole getting pregnant thing.Afterall thats how it is in the movies right? That's how heteros describe how their children are concieved. The problem with that is we most of the time have to have man's intervention to get pregnant. Problems or not.

I recently asked a lesbian mom her opinion on the conception process. She had years of unexplained infertility and finally concieved through IVF.

She said" Our journey into motherhood was not a romantical one AT ALL !
It was VERY clinical and as fun as we wanted it to be, the sexiest thing we did was a quick orgasm after one of our inseminations to try and get my uterus to do the "natural" thing ! (our midwife that was inseminating us was gay and suggested it)
It took me 6 years to conceive. The fun part was long gone when I finally got pregnant .

It's all aobut your expectations and what you feel is important. I didn't ever have the feelings of, oh I want this to be beautiful and I want my wife to give me this gift.

No, we knew what we were going for. The end result was what was important....the getting pregnant didn't need to be defined as this intimate moment for us. I sometimes think that people put too much stress on that. It can still be a good experience in an office, with syringes and doctors. Maybe just not SEXY :)"

I was so relieved to hear her say what I have been thinking on the whole subject. It's not PC in some lesibian circles to think such( all natural/organic is the lesbo way),but it doesn't matter how you got your kids but that YOU GOT THEM.And it's all good:)Right?

All the best darlin...

**I hope if that lesbian mom reads this she doesn't mind my using part of our private convo to help someone else:)

NotesFrom2Moms said...

i don't have any words of wisdom to get through the yucky place... just know you have permission to not be pretty and you have permission to be petty and jealous. Its human nature. we avoided drugs until issues made them necessary. i hated the pains of our BFNs, but we hadn't been ready to start with the drugs we needed a more gentle entry into ttc...give yourself the credit your deserve for remaining true to yourselves through this process.. thats all you can hang onto somedays.

Heidi said...

I celebrated my period this month with sickenly sweet homemade suntea.

While it was refreshing, it hurt like hell.


Anonymous said...

Allow yourself to feel however you feel - be it petty, angry, jealous. At the end of the day that hopeful, positive person inside you will rear her head again... and you'll be your wonderful, kind, generous self.

I hope that you are not headed for a BFN this month... try to remember that this process is an impossible one but that one day all this pain will melt away.

giggleblue said...

you know, you don't have a crystal ball. none of us do! we don't know what is going to happen or when or how or why it's going to happen.

sure we can try to plan, sure we can use or best judgement, sure we can research our asses off, but at the end of the day, we are out of control.

don't beat yourself up for doing what it was that felt right at that time. you had no clue that it would take this long or it would be this difficult. don't be hard on yourself for not having a crystal ball and not being able to predict the future. you did what you thought was best with your best judgement.

you can't carry regrets.

Lizzie said...

Oh, fuck. Well, I'm jealous of her and I'm jealous on your behalf, and I hate the unknowns and I rail against the unknowns and I'm scared that we're coasting, too. We did THREE blind IUIs before even went to a doc. I think the only gift we can give ourselves is to not look back. (Not that I'm able to heed this advice myself AT ALL, but still.) I do have a friend who had a many, many year process to her partner finally getting pregnant. And despite ALL the pain, she says that she wouldn't change a thing now, because she KNOWS she was supposed to have THIS little girl, and she wouldn't do it any differently if it meant getting a different kid earlier. I try to remember that. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

You know, I understand that stupid feeling. Sometimes I think we're wasting our time, spinning our wheels with natural tries too. But we tried that way because it was important to us. You just don't know until you try if it's going to work. And I really don't think it's stupid to believe that drugs aren't necessary to get pregnant. And I also don't think it's stupid to turn up the medical interventions when you're ready. Your journey seems like a very natural progression to me. You've listened to your body and weighed the pros and cons and made informed decisions. And one of these decision is going to bring you your baby.

jessie said...

You're allowed to feel crappy and petty and jealous. Not everyone's journey is meant to be the same. And if you went right to IVF, whose to say you wouldn't be mad at yourself for not trying it more naturally? You're doing what feels right, day by day. That's the best you can do. big HUGS

indigoscot said...

we went straight to femara and follistim shots (although the follistim was only on one day in my cycle). not gung-ho drugs but drugs nonetheless. i was 37 when we conceived. first cycle was a complete bust, only one lonely follicle and of course no bfp. i then told our clinic i was getting my prolactin level back to normal (they wanted 3 more tries with almost the same protocol) and took 2 months off for that, yoga and acupuncture. we got bfp on our second cycle because with my prolactin level down i was so much more relaxed...and the drugs worked better and i produced 4 follicles. but it's a complete crap shoot. our son is nothing short of a miracle as post-partum i wsa diagnosed with factor v leiden which can cause recurrent m/c.

now we are getting ready for dp to try and she has hypothyroidism due to hashimoto's thyroiditis. yet again we have to battle issues...but we will battle them and we will use fertility drugs again.

yes, today was tough for you. i'm sorry you had to deal with that but you can't look back. what if's are no good! i wish you much luck and hope that you are indeed pregnant this time!

vee said...

I'm sorry that this situation hit you so hard. Having been through a ridiculous number of DIY home insems and natural IUIs (and medicated ones) before turning to IVF, I also have days of feeling stupid and furious that we didn't do so sooner.

Throughout the whole time we were trying, I wrestled with the concept of infertility and how it applied to me - I was often reluctant to ramp things up, because each escalation put me more firmly in that IF box and made me more disappointed in my body's failure.

Decisions about how we go about trying to get pregnant are so individual and governed my so many factors, not just our fertility (or lack of it). I'm still making my peace with what we went through to get pregnant, but looking back, actually I don't regret much of what we did, because it brought us to where we are now. I've learned so hard and painful but hugely empowering and life-changing lessons on the way.

evangeline said...

ohhhhh i'm so sorry you are having a hard time :(

we've thought about this topic in depth since we planning to continue natural cycles. our RE won't do anything else until it seems like i'm not getting pregnant that way. in making our decision we took into consideration my one tube etc. and we are pretty aware that if we switched to another RE, i'd be on medicated cycles bc of the tube blockage. we made the decision to stick to our non-medicated plan, though because IVF isn't covered for us till after 5 more IUIs. and even though we may end up doing IVF at that point, we could never afford to do it now and pay out of pocket, so it's a waiting game. but that's us. i don't think this has been an oversight on your part. i think you made the decision to do natural cycles for some reason and maybe it's time to be re-visiting that reason or changing the plan, ya know. but no sense looking backwards. that's my two cents. our midwife tried for a year before conceiving. i know it seems like forever, but our RE told us that a year is pretty standard for natural cycles, so i don't think you are that far off.... i don't know that that makes you feel any better. anyways - we're all here for you and of course this is your place to have and vent all of those feelings ... xoxoxoxoxo

j.k-c. said...

So sorry that things are feeling rough. I think we all know that jealousy thing.

timaree said...

I know these feelings you're having well. It's so hard to be part of a TTC community when you're moving along not getting pregnant while it seems everyone else is. It's good that you took a walk and talked about it though. It's important to remember where you were when you started this process and why you made the choices you did. You'll get there. You will. xoxo

Carrie said...

hey girl
it's ok to get down. we've done 4 IUI's all natural, and sometimes i kick myself for being so easygoing. LIke you, I end up being ok with far as thinking it's just not our time yet.

All the friends I know (except one) who've gotten pregnant had to use drugs. I think with this next cycle we will try Femara or Clomid. that stuff scares me a little, though.

I wouldnt give up hope yet. The temp drop could be implantation. And I still like the sore boobs! Keep a little faith in your back pocket, but it's certainly ok to be frustrated, grieve, and even throw a little tantrum if it helps. :)

Lots of hugs for you.

tbean said...

I could have written this post myself. Feel free to be jealous of that couple and to resent them. But also remember that they got lucky. Skipping straight to IVF doesn't equal matter what you do it is all still a crapshoot and a long long wait for a miracle.

embers said...

Dammit I love it and hate it when people I know get pregnant. We also started trying all natural and optimistic and many of our friends got pregnant that way. After many BFN we are now am asking for drugs. I am still hoping for you that get a BFP this month :)

Tui said...

Ok, I just wrote a big long ass comment then it got eaten when I lost my internet connection - either you'll get 2 comments the same, or one slightly inferior version lol

Two of our best friends are starting ttc in January and I hate to think how horrible I'll feel should they get pregnant before us - we're supposed to be their role models in this damnit not the other way around!

Don't beat yourself up about feeling bad about it - you've got a pretty good attitude the majority of the time but of course the bad moments are going to come. Same goes for trying to do this without drugs - you had a reason for trying that way (same as we do). If it does come to ivf, remember that there's still no guarantee that you would have got pregnant 7 months ago, or even 2 months ago. 'What if' doesn't work like that.

Try to remind yourself that you chose this path because that was the best path for you at the time.

When you both made these decisions, however long ago, you did so based on what you knew and felt then - and what was right for you at that time. Sure, if you knew that it would take this long, you might have gone a more aggressive route, but you didn't know - you couldn't. So there's no point second guessing yourselves.

Hope that makes sense - I'm sure it was more eloquent that first time round, but maybe it wasn't haha