What else is there to do...
When you expected to be a mom, and instead you're a miscarriage survivor struggling with infertility? 

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Official!

This morning when the alarm went off, I put my thermometer in my mouth and waited for that all important number to pop up.  I had been crossing my fingers for three mornings in a row.  If it was below coverline, then I didn't ovulate.  Do not pass O, do not collect any HPT's.  If it was above coverline, then I ovulated on Friday.  One small step for Fertile Myrtle, one giant leap for Mrs. Unexpected.

And what popped up after that annoying little beep?  97.90!  I ovulated!  And even though no one IRL will celebrate with me (or even know about it), it makes today an awesome day.  I got to plug my temperature into my Fertility Friend chart and get cross hairs!  I think my ovaries just did a little dance.

And to top it off, on Saturday, just as my little egg was traveling down my Fallopian tube, waiting to get fertilized by one of Mr. Unexpected's swimmers, I found out that there is such a thing as Baby Dust.  No, not the metaphorical Baby Dust that we all sprinkle on each other in the online infertility and loss community.  But real sparkly dust that someone can sprinkle on you in real life while saying "Baby Dust".  Even though they have no idea that Baby Dust is something we all drool over and lust for and dream about every cycle.

Yes, on Saturday I got sprinkled with Baby Dust.  And even though it came out of a blush brush, and even though it was glitter, and even though the girl who sprinkled it on me was not a fairy, it's gotta mean something, right?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last Chance

Today is THE day.  Let's get ready to OVULAAAAAATE!

BBT thermometer on the window sill next to the bed?   Check.
20 used OPKs, including 5 positive ones from the last 2 days?   Check.
Tube of PreSeed hidden in the closet from Mr. Unexpected?   Check.

Dear Egg(s), It's time to drop!

This is our last natural cycle before we enter the world of reproductive endocrinology.  Actually, I will be getting some blood work done, and Mr. Unexpected will be getting his SA (semen analysis) done before we even know if this cycle is a winner.

If we get our BFP in 2 weeks, we get to enter the world of high risk OBs, pregnancy mood swings, frequent ultrasounds, Lovenox injections, and constant worries about whether our baby's heart is still beating.  

If we get a BFN in 2 weeks (and I get AF (Aunt Flow, that old witch)), then we get to enter the world of fertility doctors, Clomid mood swings, frequent ultrasounds, HCG trigger injections, and constant worries about whether my ovaries are producing any follicles.

Hmmm... what's the difference?

If we get a BFP, we're pregnant.

If we get a BFN, we're infertile.

I'm rooting for Team Pregnant.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Gift of the Present

And that pretty much brings you up to date on the sad story of my dream to be a mother.

Except for one thing, today- out of the blue- I feel hopeful about getting pregnant this cycle! And excited to try!

And it made me realize how much of myself I have lost along the way.  I literally cannot remember the last cycle I felt hopeful about.  Or the last time I thought, "Hey in a few weeks, I could be pregnant."  

And here I am today, suddenly feeling like I want (actually want) to try (consciously try) to conceive (a REAL. LIVE. BABY.).  Like this is what it's about, and I don't want to force myself to forget that anymore.  And now my brain is going:


So after a year of TTC without thinking about what that really means, after a year without hope, I have suddenly convinced myself that this is my cycle, and I'm going to get a BFP (BIG FAT POSITIVE!!) on my birthday, and I'm going to be pregnant before the anniversary of Cricket's departure, and I'm going to have my spring baby, and I'm going to be a MOM!!!!!!!!

And of course, that little part of me that knows how the world really works, knows that I'm just setting myself up for a big crash, but I don't CARE!! 

It's so unlike me.  So unexpected.  But I guess I am ready to accept it.

Learning to Cope

Soon after the Unexpecteds ventured back into the world of TTC, they realized that they were going to have to fight for their Baby Unexpected.  Mrs. Unexpected's cycles were extremely irregular (F-ed up, if you will), and on top of that, a family crisis meant that she would have to spend most of her time out of state.  

Still, they were committed to being together whenever there was a chance to conceive, even if that meant that Mrs. Unexpected would have to spend a whole month away from home so that she could be with her husband for the huge 3 week window during which she may or may not ovulate during any given cycle.

Months passed, eggs were ovulated, and negative pregnancy tests were a dime a dozen (more like $6 a dozen, if you actually do the calculation).  Cricket's EDD (Estimated Due Date) passed without a new pregnancy to celebrate, and Mrs. Unexpected spent a day silently mourning her baby, who would only be acknowledged by a late night phone call from her husband.  (And by her MIL (mother-in-law), who was SO SAD about their loss because it meant that now MIL could not buy cute baby clothes.  We musn't forget that tragedy.)  With Cricket's EDD passed their one year mark of TTC and their last chance to have a baby in 2010.

As more time passed, Mrs. Unexpected started feeling hopeless about their TTC journey.  She stopped imagining that time in the future when she would again hold another positive pregnancy test.  She stopped wondering what it would feel like to have a baby moving around inside of her.  She stopped thinking about an imaginary ultrasound tech's voice telling them that they would have a baby boy or a baby girl.  At some point, she stopped believing that she would ever be pregnant again.  Time and infertility had broken her.

And on top of knowing that she and Mr. Unexpected had months worth and thousands of dollars worth of infertility treatments ahead of them, she also knew that, due to a clotting disorder, her next pregnancy would be marked by daily Lovenox injections and fears of stillbirth.  It just seemed easier to let herself give up.  To keep trying, but to never think about what it was that she was trying for.  Because it seemed impossible that she would ever be able to get it.

Life After Cricket

After Cricket was gone, Mrs. Unexpected spent a lot of time crying, a lot of time not sleeping, a lot of time not eating, and all of the rest of her time plodding through her life in a fog thinking, "How can all these people be going about their normal lives, making jokes and smiling and laughing, WHEN MY BABY IS DEAD?!?!?"

When Mrs. Unexpected made it to the point in her recovery where her friends and family (and even Mr. Unexpected!!!) had stopped asking how she was doing and no longer acknowledged that Cricket had existed (and how could that have happened after less than 1 month?!?!), her grief turned to rage.  

When her mother said unthinkingly, "It doesn't matter if you and Mr. Unexpected are here on Christmas morning this year because it's not like there are any babies involved," Mrs. Unexpected decided that the Unexpecteds would stay home for Thanksgiving and avoid their families.  

When Mr. Unexpected FORGOT about her post-D&C follow-up appointment and left her to sit alone in the exam room, listening through the wall to a baby's heart beating in another woman's pregnant belly, she didn't talk to him for days.  And when they finally started talking again and Mr. Unexpected said it was a WASTE OF MONEY to save gifts that had been meant for Cricket as keepsakes and that they should just give CRICKET'S things to their next baby, Mrs. Unexpected stormed out of the house and disappeared for hours.

But time kept passing, and when Mrs. Unexpected realized in November that she was finally ovulating, 9 weeks after her D&C, she and Mr. Unexpected decided to go ahead and TTC.  And with that small step forward, not away from Cricket, but toward her next baby and her future, Mrs. Unexpected started to feel like she was healing.  She would never be the same carefree person she had been before Cricket, but she felt like she could survive.

The Story of Cricket

In preparation for their upcoming wedding, the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Unexpected began discussing when to start a family.  The answer: RIGHT AWAY!   That meant that they would officially start TTC (Trying To Conceive) Baby Unexpected in April of 2009.

So in December 2008, Mrs. Unexpected finished her last pack of birth control pills, and in March 2009, she began charting her BBT (Basal Body Temperature) and using OPKs (Ovulation Predictor Kits).  Because she had always had long cycles (35 days long) she wanted to be armed and ready to catch those eggs!  Unfortunately Mrs. Unexpected's ovaries weren't with the program, and decided to throw the newlyweds some irregular cycles (ranging from 30 to 42 days long).

When Mrs. Unexpected found herself holding a positive pregnancy test in July 2009, she was shocked, amazed, and so excited!  Bloodwork showed that her HCG levels were rising beautifully.  They even got to see their 7 week old Cricket's heart beating in August.  They were going to have their Baby Unexpected!

So when they went for another ultrasound in September and found out that instead of measuring 12 weeks, their Cricket was measuring only 8 weeks 5 days with no heartbeat, they were devastated.  Since Mrs. Unexpected's uterus was unaware that the pregnancy was no more, she had a D&C on September 18, 2009.  And after that, all they had of Cricket were some blurry ultrasound pictures.