Somewhere Over the Rainbow

This one will be a little different as we are at the one year mark.  I have so many emotions rolling through my head, thankfully I have a pretty large work problem to keep me distracted at this time.  I’ve also been meditating at least once a day and practicing mental breaks so that I can distract myself from focusing on what we have lost, diverting my focus to the good things in life.  I still have my moments, who wouldn’t?  Our hearts are still broken, that will never change, you just put the pieces back together and move on.November 8: 1 year ago today we went in for the transfer of our one and only embryo from our second retrieval.  It was one of the most terrifying things I have done.  The last of our combined genetics, will this work?  We had done literally everything in our power to make it work.

Right before we went back. Our first family photo. I hate that you can see the fear in my eyes, after one failed transfer it shows.[/caption]

November 10, 2016: Today my dogs began devoting themselves to me. Ryker was so bad that he refused to go outside without me, he had to be touching me or see me at all times. I began having symptoms that I didn’t realize were symptoms yet.

November 11, 2016: The nausea started. Satsumas were the cure.

November 14, 2016: I took a pregnancy test. After 6 years, 2 pink lines showed up on that baby. I was so excited I cried.

November 15, 2016: I took a different another pregnancy test, the line is darker. At this point I’m riding that happy until my blood test.

November 18, 2016: Blood serum day. Officially I am pregnant, 105.

We went to MO to visit our family for Thanksgiving, 12 hours one way in the Explorer.

Our first ultrasound was scheduled November 30, 2016. Seeing our baby on the screen was the most amazing thing. There it was everything we had worked so hard for. Everything in one tiny bubble in my uterus. Yolk sac and embryo both look great. We schedule for the next week. That weekend we traveled to a race we volunteer at (2 hours in the Explorer one way).

December 5, 2016, growth was a little behind but nothing to be concerned about at this point. We will be back the next week.

December 6, 2016, I nearly pee myself coming into work. I had no idea that this was the beginning of the end. That evening, bright red followed by a blue tinge clot. I had not idea that was our baby at the time. Several of my friends had bled during their successful cycles, I wasn’t going to panic.

December 7, 2016, went in to have an ultrasound and make sure everything is ok. There was NOTHING in my uterus, nothing at all. I broke, that was my breaking point. All that we have been through and this is what we end with. There are no answers, our embryo quality was great everything was growing great we have no understanding as to why this happened to us.

1 year later I still have so many questions. We got rid of the Explorer, I’m not sure I’ll ever be convinced that the vehicle did not cause the miscarriage. In January we learned of the problem with carbon monoxide in the cabin and bought a meter. Almost the entire time I drove the Explorer there was a reading, typically around 4ppm but as high as 10ppm during my normal drives around town. Our trip to Arizona it reached 15ppm (not one single car around us for as far as we could see) and was still rising when we pulled over opened the windows and doors to air it out. I’ve come to terms but it still angers me that we went through 2 rounds of IVF to lose our last genetic connection potentially due to our vehicle poisoning us. We still have not succeeded and are left with so many questions.

What I’m doing now is clearing out my system. I’m going to a functional medicine doctor and will be following autoimmune paleo protocol for the next several weeks. I need to figure out why I cannot lose weight, what causes my inflammation and generally get my shit back together. I was able to see this on the anniversary of our last ultrasound. There is always a rainbow after the storm. We are getting there.

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Stop it.


I just need my brain to stop, to shut up.  Meditation is helping, but if I miss it I’m up most of the night (last night…).  I can’t imagine the next 2 months will be any better.  I’m focusing on the positive, it is what I have to look forward to.   I was gearing up to start my Leupron this time last year in preparation for the transfer of our last genetic chance.  To go through infertility and to get pregnant is a dream come true.  To lose that child is beyond my worst imagined dreams.  To all of the mothers who have lost, you are not alone.  We will go through this and it’s ok to grieve.  I will never forget the way the doctor looked at me as I was staring at the empty screen knowing what was about to come out of his mouth.  He strategically placed himself in front of the screen so I didn’t have to see it anymore.  I break down every time I replay that scene, the gut wrenching agony of our hearts being ripped straight out of our chests.  It doesn’t matter how you join this undesirable club, you are loved, you will get through and you will find your way.  Anniversaries are the hardest and not even being a year out it is all still fresh.  The wounds will heal and we’ll deal better every year.  That scar will still be there to sting it will always be there, it is part of your story, part of you.  

Fix it all

We’ve been busy.  Ronin (2 years) needed TPLO surgery.  I was fortunate enough to get him into a clinical trial at LSU which helped some with the costs.  TPLO is a repair for the CCL (the equivalent to the ACL).  We have been leash walking him since 3 weeks before the surgery, and we have at least 7 weeks to go. Instead of repairing the tendon, they cut the tibia and change the angles of the knee, plates and screws included.  He had the procedure September 13, and is doing very well.  He’s using that leg when he walks, squatting he does sometimes, but other times he tucks it under.  He’s starting to feel pretty good and we’re finding we have to crate him more and more because he’s starting to return to his wild man ways, it’s going to be a long remainder to rehab…  His first few days home were pretty rough for everyone involved.   He had solid restrooms, but there was some fresh blood.  Because of this they asked that we not give him the Rimadyl (it can upset the tummy).  He was only taking Tramadol, which from what I’ve read after the fact doesn’t do a whole lot for the pain.  The first night home, he was anxious and trembling and it just got worse.  I gave up by Saturday afternoon and added in the Rimadyl.  The stools cleared up and I’m guessing it was stressed (he doesn’t like to be away from us or his brother) and the pain was reduced in less than 2 hours. Thursday he goes in for his 2 week check, stitches out and rehab appointment.  He’s such a big boy we’re spending the extra money for the rehab to help us all out in the long run.  Thank goodness we have insurance.  

Kali has been adopted by a wonderful man.  We’re still working on the poor girl’s nose issue.  She has an appointment with LSU today and hopefully they can figure it out.  She is the sweetest and it breaks my heart she’s had to deal with this issue this long.  I’m still leaning towards fungal by going to LSU, we cut out the middle man since any of the local vets will send us to LSU anyway.  

On the infertility front, I just started a new cycle after 60 days.  I would have started the 2nd trimester this week, or our child would have been nearing 2 months.  I’m dreading November and December at this point.  Way too many reminders.  Unfortunately I have to pick myself up and live my life.  I’m hoping we can get away for the weekend at least once, I need to sit on a beach or in the woods or something and just reflect, I need to be able to let go.  There are days I just want to curl up and cry other days I just want to be done.  I’m just tired.  Tired of failing, tired of being broken, tired of it all.  I have been getting back to running.  It feels nice to be back out there.  Ryker appreciates it too.  Ronin however does not like to be left behind.  Did I mention he’s spoiled?  That’s enough randomness for today.  I hope you have a great week.

Now what…

So our WTF appointment was the 25th of August.  Not sure we know more or less (I’m going with more and that my presumptions on lining were correct).  There is so many unknowns, just as many known items.  My protocol will be changed to increase my lining thickness as well as to suppress me 3 months prior on birth control (BC) (this will control the endo more and if it’s an issue will reduce it’s influence on my lining).  Another positive for being on the BC for 3 months prior is that it will also help me to get on their cycle vs being on it 50 days before starting the transfer cycle.  Now I have to decide if we will use the donor embryo they sent over.  Why this is so hard, I don’t know.  Besides the man’s age the profile is perfect.  I wish someone could give me a crystal ball with choose my own ending so I could see.  

Ronin is getting ready for surgery on his CCL.  That should be interesting for all involved.  We have decided to go with the TPLO surgery.  We may be eligible for a clinical trial which will save us some money.  No matter how you look at it, this is not a cheap venture.  I’m thinking about renaming our home the Love home for Wayward Misfits.  Between our infertility journey and our pets (fosters included), we sure are a special bunch.  Speaking of special, we still haven’t figured out what is wrong with our foster Kali.  She still has the unilateral snot mixed with the tinges of blood.  The biopsy came back negative for fungal infection, the lab sent it off to another lab just to verify.  Ryker has been feeling left out.  Ronin has to be leash walked, Kali gets special food, then there’s healthy Ryker.  He’s acting more and more like Eeore right now.  Poor guy.  He’ll get a run in the morning, that should make him feel loved.  

Heart Eclipse

We’ve been busy.  Still don’t have any answers, we go in Friday for that appointment.  We have taken in a foster pup.  She is sweet and was at one time loved.  She also has some trust issues.  She was underweight and had been bred a few times, she also had a respiratory and skin infection.  Since last Wednesday she’s had nose bleeds.  She spent the weekend at the vet and Friday a biopsy was taken of her nostril (it’s only one that is giving us problems) to check for fungal infection.  She takes this all in stride with grace.  We pick her up tonight and hopefully will get some results by Friday (the sooner the better).  She’s up through adoption through The Pit Stop Rescue.  Donations to her care can be made on the website (Pit Stop Donations).  Her sponser is already looking at 1K between her and her partner (brother? Father?…).  Thankfully she was heart worm negative, unfortunately he was not.   I know she’s ready to come home, unfortunately she’ll have to be crated until we can get her started on some medications and get her nasal bleeds under control.  She’ll be taking doggie xanex to keep her calm and will still be on a plethora of antibiotics and herbs to help her through the other issues she had.  I’m hopeful that this will also help her get well enough that her body can start fighting the fungal (if that is what it is) infection.  She is such a sweet girl and she deserves the best life.   

Kali in the mud

Today is also the eclipse.  I’m trying to keep my mind off of what today is, what we were supposed to be doing.  We should have our baby, we should be at dad’s visiting the family and showing off our offspring and watching totality.  But no I had a miscarriage. Instead we’re still in limbo, we’re still waiting, we’re still broken.  To me it’s bittersweet.  Hopefully we’ll learn something Friday.  Hopefully April 8, 2024 (the next total eclipse in the US) we’ll be able to take our baby(ies) somewhere to see.  Today I’m working, tonight I get puppy snuggles from not just my 2 boys but a thankful rescue and my friends dog B.  

But I want to sit on your lap!
I’ll take that treat now, please.

Have a great day everyone.  Don’t blind yourself!

Fixing Humpty

How do you pick up the pieces?  In my life I’ve found that it is easiest to do this one piece at a time, start with the obvious placements and work your way to the much more difficult ones to put back in place.  I’m still working on this one and know I cannot glue one of the largest pieces back until after the WTF appointment the 25th.  I went ahead and put our names back on the donor embryo list for matching.  Almost immediately we received a potential embryo, last time it took nearly 3 months to even get our first donor profile and before we received another my friend donated hers to us.  I was shocked.  This embryo will also be discussed at the WTF appointment since we received minimal information with this profile.  At this point we’re not sure when we’d move forward, but we will eventually.  I am sure that it is a lining issue and that we will need to be above 7.5 for a transfer.  I really didn’t do anything different between the miscarriage transfer and this transfer, so I’m not sure.  I do believe that the regulation between July 2016 and my transfer in November 2016 was a huge player.  That question will be brought up for sure.  I let these embryos down, I should have fought harder.  Honestly until the 2nd appointment all was great so I don’t know what happened and why the lining stopped growing.  Right now I just wait for auntflow to show up and my appointment at the end of the month.  

For now I just put myself back together.  I’m working on my endometriosis and trying to get it more under control.  I am back on the pycnogenol and am working on getting some semblance of a running schedule together.  We will be running the local infertilty run in November called Baby Steps.  Our team is “Are you sure you’re doing it right?”  We came up with that because we are so vocal about our problems and with educating others on what they need to know.  I’m still dumbfounded by people who do not realize what their body does month to month.  I’m even more so when someone has to go through IVF or any other fertility treatment and they still have no clue.  Ignorance is not always bliss and could have saved someone years of heartache if they just knew how to do something as simple as charting.  For many people it isn’t so easy.  Maybe it’s just the scientist in me but I want to know what is going on and why.  I want to know why the doctor is prescribing this for this time of the month and I’m only taking this other drug some other days.  I want to know what I’m looking at on the screen when the tech is looking at my ovaries and lining.  I want to know what that number means, 7.2, 7.8…  What does that mean for me?  Is my lining trilaminear?  I’m ready to be through all of this needing to know.  I’m ready to be holding a child that is so dear to us that our love could start a fire.  I’m ready for the long nights and the grumpy days, the ‘Watch what I learned!” And the questions.  All of the questions.  Without questions you get no answers.  Without pain you don’t get strength.  I hope our child(ren) do not know all the pain we learned through, my hope is that they scrape through learning that maybe that branch wasn’t the one to climb, or that step should have been 2 inches to the left on a trail run.  I know we cannot protect them, but we can guide them and to us that is worth every pain we have been through.  We can teach them how to get through it and how to be good humans.

Broken

6dp5dt: negative HPT FRER

7dp5dt: I feel broken at this point tests are negative using the gold standard (FRER). My beta is Thursday.  There is still time if this is a late implantation.  More than anything I’m frustrated because I have all the symptoms I had with my first (and only positive).  Nausea, decreased appetite, gas, indigestion, cramping in odd places, crazy dreams every night, and waking up early.  Both dogs are stuck to me like glue, yet still negative.  I don’t know how to handle this.  Not only do I feel completely broken, but I feel that I failed these embryos, these embryos that were gifted to us, our friends that gifted them to us.  Was it my lining?  Something else?  Not out yet, just a few storm clouds on the horizon.

8dp5dt: negative FRER Hot flashes, VIVID dreams, waking up at crazy hours of the night and not being able to go back to sleep, extreme thirst.

9dp5dt:  Hot flashes, VIVID dreams, waking up at crazy hours of the night and not being able to go back to sleep, extreme thirst.

10dp5dt: HCG blood test <2, negative.  What do we do now? Do we put our names back in the hat for more donor embryos?  Do we just give up?  Right now I am too broken to think, too frustrated to know where to go.  Both of us are.  My symptoms started late and I was hopeful that maybe I’d have a low beta, but I would have a a beta, not 0.   Today was our due date for our miscarriage.  I should have been holding a child if not already soon.  This heartbreak is too much.  What is meant to be is not an answer, it is not a solution, it is giving up, but what else do you do?  Where do you go from here?  Unless someone knows a way to get through adoption without a home study.  Our WTF happened appointment is late August.  Until then we have time to think. For now I’ll be broken, my uterus let the embryos down.  I believe my lining is to blame, it will be brought up at our consult.