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.

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.

Those who want to know

You know, you can find about anything on the web.  In the infertility world it can dominate your day sometimes.  “I’ll get to that laundry after I read this article on what foods will ensure implantation.”  “Dinner’s done, but I need to finish researching dairy vs no dairy and implantation.”  Talk about time consuming or brain draining, or 17 other problems that you may or may not imagine.  At the same time you get to meet infertility friends.  Something connects you through the years and miles.  You may not understand all their pain, but you understand some and they understand yours.  You can jump on and gripe about another failed cycle and scream and cry and they’ve been there.  Maybe not in the same capacity, but they know. I remember starting this journey I was on a chat group.  Those ladies held me together, I like to think I held them together.  All but myself and one other went on to have their baby.  One woman had tried for 3 years, 3 years of heartache and tears.  Her mother died of cancer and even with her wonky cycles and dealing with the loss, her miracle was conceived the same month she lost her mother.  I remember thinking at the time (in my naivety), “I think my DH (dear husband) would have to put me in the looney bin if we go over a year and half.”  Here we are 7 years later…  So far I’ve managed to stay out of the asylum (somehow).  We watch the kids around us grow and we are stuck in purgatory still.  Still dreaming, still fighting with all we have, knowing that the next time will be our last, then it’s not.  Then we “fail” again.  We thought for sure once I got knocked up it would be it, my body would figure out what to do from there.  The universe once again put us in our place and let us know she’s in control.  Now I approach the FET with donor embryos.  Embryos someone else worked so hard to develop and my typical pre-transfer panic has begun.  I’ll be fine (thanks to meditation and a Hakuna-Matata attitude) by Friday, but for now I worry.  Is my lining thick enough?  It was 7.2 today and Friday.  Why didn’t it grow?  It has a beautiful trilaminear appearance which only seemed to look better today than Friday.  Blood flow looked great in the cavity.  I don’t like that my first transfer cycle it was  7.2, that’s my issue, that’s my malfunction.  That transfer was also a Monday, it failed.  Yes the siblings of these embryos produced healthy beautiful babies and this is completely different.  It would not be IVF if there wasn’t something to freak me out.  I have been reassured and told by those who know a hell of a lot more than I do that all is well.  For now I’ll deal with the hurting girls and mentally get myself prepared for Monday.  I know that the trilamenear appearance is much more important and just so that it is over 7, it will be good.  I had a friend get pregnant with a lining below 7 so that is not the issue, just the stalling out.  Nobody seemed concerned with the fact I stalled at the office (including the doctor).  When I asked about it stalling out they said they see it all the time and it ends in positives.  I’d just rather see that 7.8 I had before my November transfer.  Infertility is such a bitch can’t one thing be simple?!

Calendar Day 1

So today I start the estrogens, aka the hard stuff.  I say that relatively since this is not a retrieval but an FET.  I’m ready to get this party started and live in a dream world for the rest of my life.  Every moment I was pregnant for the entire 7 weeks, it was a dream, the happiest dream I’ve had.  Nausea?  I was grinning ear to ear.  Exhausted?  Loving every minute of it.  Going potty every 35 minutes?  Never been more happy.  I will enjoy every moment this time around even though I know until we see a heartbeat I’ll be guarded.  I know this will work, this is what was written in the stars for us.  We gain new friends (family) and get to raise our babies side by side.  Until then I’ll take my estrace and inject my rump with estradiol valerate.  Bonus, I have an actual office now so no running to the restroom to “shoot up”. It always kind of grossed me out having to do that. I mean, its a bathroom and I’m sticking a needle in my muscles, not talking one of those dinky needles you use for sub-Q, but a one that would give someone with a needle phobia a heart attack.  They use a smaller gauge to get blood from me.  Thank goodness no one in my house has a needle phobia.  Like everything, there will be rough roads but we are ready for those.  We just need to get over the transfer and first trimester hump.  

I had to stay behind because I have to take off too many days in the coming month, but my husband is headed to MO to check in with the family.  They didn’t need the wild boys there anyway, they can be a little overwhelming on occasionally.  I’ll just clean up the house and start figuring out the food plan for the first trimester.  Anything to help out the husband (and me) and keep us from eating out since I have the gluten thing going on.  I’ll need to pick up some containers for soups so that I can freeze them for lunch.  I may even get the wild hair and make my chicken noodle soup now.  I found a recipe to make the “family recipe” egg noodles paleo, which is freaking amazing!!!!  Talk about healthy and still a comfort food!!!  I think it’s supposed to rain most of the weekend so I’ll just have to suck it up and mop anyway.  At least I can keep the small one entertained by the tv.  He likes the pet collective channel.  ​Nothing else I can take them both on a walk in between the downpours.  

Ronin relaxing in front of a live oak.