Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Great Depression

I don’t know how I knew, but somehow about four days before I could take a pregnancy test, I just knew I wasn’t pregnant.  Even with two or three follicles, the IUI, and the rock star sperm, I just knew.  The depression that hit long before I even knew was intense.  I would cry at the drop of a hat.  I cried to two people at work, cried all through our date night at the Olive Garden, and it took every ounce of strength I had not to cry through my friend’s birthday dinner, especially when she was so sweet to give me a gift- a fertility bracelet.  Over the weekend, I didn’t even want to get out of bed and the sobbing that occurred while I watched Grey’s Anatomy could have been heard in another time zone. And I swear, if one more person tells me they know it will happen for me, they might get kicked in the face.  Never in my life have I felt like this and no matter what I did, I just couldn’t pull myself out.  Poor Jeff didn’t know what to do.  I was hitting rock bottom in this process.  Sure, enough, when test day rolled around, yet another negative result.
Not willing to give up on our dream, I somehow pull myself out the deep dark hole.  I go for the meeting with Dr. Milroy to discuss options.  It’s a pretty easy decision.  Since insurance is paying for the injectables (again, please don’t tell my insurance they screwed up), we are going all out.  The Clomid is in the past and we are doing all injectables.  However, the appointment isn’t over yet.  Dr. Milroy tells me if this doesn’t work after three months, we will have to start looking at other options such as egg donation or adoption.  I’m doing my best not to cry through this appointment, so I don’t even tell her that is something that Jeff is very opposed to.  In the back of my mind, I can’t help but thinking we have three months to make a baby or our dream is history.   Not helping my depression.  And, to top it off, we still have to do an ultrasound.  If I have a cyst, I get another month on the pill and I’d been told that if you get a cyst once, chances are you’ll get one every month.  I’m not optimistic.  There’s still a good chance I will be crying before this appointment is over. 
I was wrong.  I don’t usually like to admit it, but this time I will gladly eat my words.  No cyst.  Let the shots begin.  And let the new attitude come with it. 
For the past seven months (minus the one I was on the pill), my world has revolved around this process.  We had a calendar on the refrigerator telling us what to do each day and followed it religiously.  And let me tell you, it’s easy to get consumed by this.  My month typically looked like this:
            Day 1 – start period, schedule doctor’s appointment
            Day 2 – Doctor’s appointment
            Days 3-10 – Pills or shots every day.  Ultrasound on Day 10
            Day 11 – Another shot
            Day 12 – Another ultrasound, shot to induce ovulation
            Day 13 – NOTHING – except get excited for IUI in the morning
            Day 14 – IUI
Days 15-28 – Progesterone pills -I haven’t mentioned these yet, but trust me, they aren’t what you expect.  These are not normal pills you swallow.  They are suppositories.  Before this, I thought all suppositories went into the rear entry, but these go into the front.  Twice a day.  I’m sure my body is soaking up some of the progesterone, but I really feel like most of it just falls out.  Yes, gross, but it is what it is.  The reason you “take” these is some believe that a lack of progesterone sometimes causes miscarriages, so, in case you conceive; you take these to help you maintain the pregnancy.  If you do conceive, you take them for the first 12 weeks.
            Day 28 – Pregnancy test
So, as you can see, you are doing something every single day, so it’s easy to let this take over your life.  I would do everything I needed to like clockwork.  I would schedule events around my 6:00 p.m. shots and would not drink even a sip of alcohol those last two weeks – just in case. 
But no more.  I must live my life.  So as Jeff and I sit at the kitchen table, me with my glass of wine and him with his vodka/water, we decide to take a new approach.  I will keep doing what I need to, but I will have fun, lower my expectations, and, by God, if I want a glass of wine from time to time, I’ll have one.  We also decided to change how we discuss our future.  We will no longer discuss what we’ll do with JJ (Jeff has been calling our unconceived child this for years, so at this point, I have also grown attached and our boys name is a done deal – and, no, it’s not Jeff Junior, just JJ) or think about things long term (this is mostly for my mental health – anything to help avoid another great depression).  We are just taking life day by day. 
Day by day by day and on Day eight or so I go in for my umpteenth ultrasound.  This time Dr. Stewart is with me.  I’ve never met him, so we are chatting and he confirms that I’ve been doing 150 units of Follistim per day.  He jokes and asks if I’m ready for twins (there is a 20 percent chance of multiples with injectables).  I tell him that we’d be thrilled with twins as we know this is probably our only shot at getting pregnant, so if we can get more than one, great.  I’m optimistic.  Last month I had two, maybe even three mature follicles and being on all shots, I expect even more.  So up goes the wand and I look to the fuzzy screen.  First to the left ovary – nothing.  On to the left ovary – one follicle.  One?  Really?  One?   Even Dr. Stewart is surprised.  He said they would expect more with that amount of Follistim.  Well, Dr. Stewart, welcome to my world!  Being the great doc he is, he did offer some encouragement and reminded me, “It only takes one.  And… there is a six percent chance the egg will split, so you can still get your twins.”  So, sticking with my new attitude on life, I hold my head high and head off to work.
Per the routine, we do IUI on day 14.  You know the drill, cup (Jeff now tells me he will never look at Kendra the same), rock stars, 10 minutes with the iPhone.  Now, two weeks of pills in the vag while we wait.  

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