infertility

The two week wait.

The worst thing EVER.

You overanalyze every feeling, go up and down on the emotional roller coaster, and are hormonal.  Plus, you are now doing progesterone shots/cream, and no sex. That’s right, boys and girls: no sex. Pretty much the entire infertility process involves avoiding sex/no sex. Ironic, huh? In addition to progesterone, I was on a prolactin-reducing drug, plus steroids, antibiotics and other fun stuff.

I was so exhausted I couldn’t even stay awake past 8pm. I would fall asleep on the couch. They recommend you don’t do a home pregnancy test (HPT) for at least 10 days after trigger to avoid a false positive due to the hormone to trigger ovulation. I decided not to test at all. I started my period right on time. So I knew when it came to the beta it was negative. And it was.  That was awful. I cried on and off the first day. Leaned on my support group.

credit: shutterstock
It’s so hard knowing that you are doing everything possible to achieve something and no matter how much you do, how close you follow the rules, how much you sacrifice, you may not get it. The follow up with the doctor said we just hit the bad odds (remember, it’s 50/50). Since I was going to lose insurance soon, we decided to do another cycle right away. I started birth control that day (UGH). This time they added a procedure – an endometrial biopsy (or endo scratch for short). They take a catheter and run it up and down the uterine lining to cause grooves. Basically scratching your insides. This is to cause extra blood flow and the grooves are supposed to help implantation by 20%. We had good embryos so they were convinced it would help.

They tell you to take a Tylenol before. Yeah…  Like that was going to help. It was super painful. It took everything in me to not jump off the table while she was doing that. But if you move she could accidentally poke through your uterine wall, and we don’t want that. Most people are just fine after leaving that procedure, but for me I had cramping for almost a week. Yay me.

Everything I previously described regarding the shots and ER went the same. This time we got 11 eggs! But only three fertilized.

Another 3 days transfer. We did all three embryos.

The dreaded two week wait. About eight days after our 3 day transfer (or 8dp3dt as they say) I started bleeding. I was so sad. I thought we were down and out for the count. Then, I stopped bleeding and had some massive back pain. My boobs stopped hurting (most women know they are pregnant when their boobs hurt, but my boobs hurt every month from PMS). I freaked out. I asked my support group for guidance. POAS (or pee on a stick, for you laymen). I did.

Teenage Girl Sitting In Bathroom With Pregnancy Test
I noticed something different as I watched the liquid drag across that hateful window: a flash of a line. It went blank again. I was confused. I walked away as the timer ticked away. I couldn’t stare at it anymore. The timer went off and I hesitated. Would this time be like every other before? Had I put myself through four months of hell for nothing? Did we pay 10k for nothing?

I looked down, with my heart pounding. No, this couldn’t be. There was a second line! NO WAY. I checked again. I asked the hubby to come look. He looked and said yup. I took a picture, asked my support group if I was hallucinating. Nope, there was a second line. Holy shit.

I can’t possibly describe how happy I was. Never in my life had I seen two lines. All my efforts, all the pain, all the torture. This was it. I went in for my beta and it was positive. Low on the number side, but as long as it doubled in two days we were good. My due date was December 24th. A Christmas baby. I couldn’t have been happier until….

I started bleeding. I panicked. The clinic said spotting was normal, but they had me come back in for another blood test.

They called me the next day. “We are so sorry.”

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I couldn’t breathe. It felt like someone sucked all the air out of the room. The number dropped. I had to go back in a couple days to make sure it continued to go down. I cried harder than I have ever before. The dreams of having our Christmas baby coming home in a stocking, the dream of showing off our miracle to the family, the dream of announcing our pregnancy on a July 4th trip back home, the dream of the dogs snuggling up to our baby while we all napped on the couch on lazy Sundays, the dream of whether they would have my hair or hubby’s eye color. All of it was ripped from me in one phone call.

I went back and the number went back up. Not enough to be considered a viable pregnancy. I had go back for an ultrasound to see if we got unlucky and the embryo ended up ectopic. Nope. There was our tiny empty embryo implanted in the uterus. All I could think was why? Why is this happening to us? The doctor started talking about options to get the embryo out of my uterus. D&C, medication to induce bleeding, or let it come out on its own. I was so overwhelmed. I was crying. Hubby had to work so I felt so alone. I asked if I could call later to discuss. They said sure.

Never Google when you are in this situation. I read on forums where this happened to other people, but they went back and there was a heartbeat! My clinic agreed to do a six week ultrasound just to be on the safe side.

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One night I was getting up to pee (which became a familiar scene since I was on all these meds. A heavy set of ovaries rest on your bladder SUCKS). I stood up and all I felt was a whoosh and massive amounts of liquid pouring down my legs. I looked down in the dark and saw all sorts of dark pools. I stumbled to the toilet and flipped on the light. I’d left a huge trail of blood and uterine tissue from the white carpet to the toilet. Blood and tissue all down my leg. I burst out crying and started yelling for hubs who was still sleeping. He got up, turned the corner to the bathroom and stopped.

He went to the linen closet to grab a towel and starts cleaning up the massive pool of blood, as I sat trying to clean my legs up on the toilet. No one ever tells you how horrible miscarrying is. Because of the endo scratch, I had a nice, plump lining. My body knew the baby wasn’t viable, despite my mind wishing it was otherwise.

We cleaned up the blood and went back to bed. He held me close.

I went to the doctor’s office for the ultrasound and told them what happened. They insisted on doing it anyway. They pulled it up and there it was. That tiny little empty sac. Taunting me. Torturing me. It hadn’t come out in the miscarriage. I was told a D&C would avoid risk of infection. My other option was to continue bleeding until it came out on its own.

The day I went in was the Wednesday before Mother’s Day. I was just shy of the eight week mark (if it had been a viable pregnancy). I cried as they tried to get the IV started (people seriously need to practice more before messing with my veins). I kept thinking, “worst Mother’s Day ever.” I had been dreaming before about how this was supposed to be the first Mother’s Day where I didn’t feel ashamed or sad. I was going to be pregnant.

Once we went home after the surgery, I continued to bleed. They kept taking blood to make sure my levels of pregnancy went down to negative. It took three weeks for my numbers to hit negative range.

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Honestly, I was a mess. Emotionally, physically, mentally. I cried on and off for days. My brother had his baby shortly after and insisted I fly out to meet her immediately (if you are wondering, I did not. Which caused a huge fight and my brother and I are no longer speaking.). I completely skipped Mother’s Day. Hubby took his mom out without me. I tried to tell everyone on Facebook what happened because I was just so sad and was attacked by a family member for not telling them what we were doing. It was a really trying time.

It took me almost a year to recover. I wish I could tell you it worked out. That I have my miracle baby and lived happily ever after. We didn’t.  We considered private adoption but it costs more than IVF.  We can’t afford another IVF cycle either. We decided to move onto another option. We have decided to foster and hope to adopt.

 

 

 

Wish us luck, we are going to need it.

© Christina Pate

 

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