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.


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.  


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.

The Waiting

Waiting is the hardest part.

The waiting is the hardest part… Tom Petty says it best.  One year ago, we had our first blood test after our first IVF cycle.  For those who are not familiar with the process of IVF, I will go through our experiences in another post, but the gist of it is 1) amp up hormones so you produce as many eggs as feasibly possible, 2) retrieve said eggs, 3) fertilize these eggs, in our case selecting the best looking sperm and injecting them individually into each egg, 4) watch for 5 days, 5) freeze the ones who are still growing (standard procedure for someone my age, 6) recover from the procedure and in my case have surgery to remove a fibroid, 7) more hormones to prepare for transfer, 8) transfer and wait, 9) blood test 10 days after transfer.  Over simplified, but that is for another post.

I love my husband, I love my dogs, I love my family, but there is something missing.  There has been something missing since we have tried month after month, year after year to conceive.  I never thought that my life would revolve around infertility, that I would ever want something so much it hurts.  Maybe it’s the failure month after month and an unhealthy drive to achieve what I set out to do, who knows.  What do you do when you wait, and wait, and wait.  Hopeful every month for a positive, hopeful of what comes so easy to so many, but it never comes.  You see a specialist (already in another post I bring over from my old blog), and another, and then a 3rd which is where the story is today.   We had 2 high quality embryos to transfer April 25, 2016. High hopes and dreams that is what drives IVF, infertility.  It is what keeps you from losing your damn mind, that and fur babies.  I mean who could ever get mad at these 2?! Ryker (the brown brindle-the wise old man) and Ronin (the black and white guy-our puppy)


There is a saying that infertility is all of the stages of grief repeated every month. Month after month… IVF seems to expand that by 200%. When we had our first IVF cycle (cycle is retrieval and transfer) we were hopeful. Yes, we only had 2 embryos, yes we were putting them both in, yes we could have twins. The biggest fear was the first statement, yes we only had 2 embryos, if we put them both in and it fails we have to start over. April 25th came. We were ecstatic, one blast was on the verge of hatching, the other was nearly perfect. We went to brunch that morning before we went in, not knowing how long it would be before we would eat again. While finishing up our brunch, our Dr. called, seems he was having spasms and would not be able to perform the transfer, one of the New Orleans doctors would be driving up to help out and instead of 11, our transfer time was now set for 2. Not only does this place us later in the day, but it puts us in the risk of having to drive in rush-hour (love my husband dearly but he stresses me out to no end in traffic as do the idiots who drive in this city – chicken and egg situation).  So now we’ve ate and I have to keep a full bladder (for me means I have to pee so bad it hurts) and wait.  We arrive to our appointment and are whisked to the back.  The doctor is running behind, caught in traffic (surprise, surprise…), I’m allowed to release some of the pressure as long as I promise that it won’t be too much, this occurred 3 times before we were allowed to go back for the big show.  The transfer was not supposed to hurt, but it did, therefore worry number one already established.  The transfer itself is pretty amazing to me, you get to watch a screen of them placing the embryo(s) in your uterus.  It looks kind of like a spaceship making a landing, in my opinion, being a science nerd it is nerdy of the highest order.  Knowing that the little blob that just shot into my uterus is our potential child(ren) just overwhelms my heart.  You are wheeled out of that room, allowed to pee (thank goodness!) and instructed to relax for 30 minutes or so. Once they deem you relaxed enough they send you home for 72 days of bedrest (this varies from clinic to clinic).   Thankfully traffic wasn’t terrible and we made it home without someone cutting us off or just driving like a general idiot so it was pretty stress free.  I spent the next 2 weeks as relaxed as I could be with all of the crazy storms that rolled through and being nearly one year to the day of a tree crashing through our house while we were in it, I have some slight PTSD from that especially with a tree still looming overhead.  

May 5th I went in for the blood draw around 8 in the morning, then went home and waited.  My husband stayed home with me.  The phone rang about 11 am.  I picked up and it was the doctor on the other end and my heart fell, I knew that it did not work.  Before he even finished I’m sorry I was bawling and my husband was cradling me.  Call again when you are ready and we will talk about what happened.  Why us, haven’t we been through enough (I’ll re-post my old blog entries over here)?  Why must we go through this again?  We cried for 5 minutes or so and our pup (the black and white guy) ran into the trunk of the aforementioned tree head on making us bust out into laughter, it’s funny how they know when we need a good laugh.  We picked ourselves up and I got the biggest margarita I could order.  Mother’s day was that weekend and once again, I was barren…

It’s been one year today, one year to live, one year to learn, one year to yearn, one year to grow, one year to discover that failure is not the worst thing that can happen to us.  Our love has grown and we have met many great people on this road.  I would not change that for anything.  It’s hard at times to see the beauty through the heartbreak, to see the rainbows after the tornado of emotions that tear at your heart.  You must pick yourself up and carry on, you must remember that you are not alone, that it is ok to be sad, that you do all you can to make it through this thing called life.