Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Made a decision...

Hubby and I had a long talk last night about what we wanted to do next...

We've decided that, if the Lord is willing and the creek don't rise, we are going to try another IUI. We decided that we are most comfortable with this route even though the % chance is lower and it is riskier. We are going to try it at least a couple more times, I think. Then we are going to probably look into adoption.

We decided that we could try IVF later, if we get the money from some rich benefactor. Please note, hubby and I want our parents around for a LONG time, and they aren't that wealthy, so I'm not talking about them!!!.

SOOOOOOoooo - Anyone that wants to donate to our "have a baby" fund is welcome to! :) We'll give you name voting rights!

Well, maybe middle name voting rights. Well, actually only if it is a girl, because we already have a boy's name picked out. Oh, wait, we also have a first name picked out for a girl, so I guess that only leaves middle name if it is a girl voting rights. The middle name has to start with a "C" though... Hmmm... How would you feel about "First diaper change" rights?

Additional good news! I just called our insurance. They better explained how the IF procedures are billed and applied to our lifetime max. I feel much better now because I know that we will be able to afford to continue treatments for a bit longer before we have to pay out of pocket.

My RE is not going to like our decision... He really thinks IVF is the best course, because of the risk of ectopic and the missing tube. But, hubby and I weighed our hearts and the risks, and we came up with the same answer independently - so it just seems right to give it a go.

Alright Aunt Flo - pack your bags and come for a visit next week. We've prepared a nice comfy guest room for you. I'll even make you some homemade pancakes!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sometimes I just wish I didn't know what I know...

"Vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer." — Cowardly Lion (Wizard of Oz)

Just call me Nearly "Cowardly Lion" Dawn!!

I've been on my TTC Vacation for almost 4 weeks now. Can you BELIEVE the time has gone that fast??

During that time I have been SURE of my future plans, very sure. I have been sure I will try again, sure I won't ever try again, sure we should adopt, sure we can only make it with IVF, and sure that IVF is not for me. AAARGH!!!!!

At least one thing really is SURE - we are supposed to be on "Vacation" from TTC, and all the while I'm thinking about what to do NEXT!

Someone please get me a pillow, I need to lie down.

It seems like my feelings about IF depend on the day of the week, or time of the month. Last month when we had our post-op appointment with the RE he gave me the following cheery statistics:

* 15% chance of a 2nd ectopic pregnancy
- True for any and all future pregnancies (natural or IUI, not with IVF)

* Originally had 30% chance of pregnancy with IUI
- Now have 15% chance (aka missing one tube)

* 20 - 25 % chance of pregnancy with IVF (but it is really expensive!)

These statistics are frightening... Unless you feel like Stephen Wright about it, wherein "42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot"

I can pay through the nose, take 53 days to complete one cycle + 10 days to get a result, and get the best odds. Or I can pay a reasonable amount, take only 11 days to complete a cycle + 14 days to get a result, and possibly get another trip to the hospital! Woo Hoo!!!

Oh, and you know what my google-eyed self found out about IVF?? Per the Ectopic Awareness Association in England, there are actually a high # of ectopic pregnancies from IVF - because the REs sometimes accidentally push the eggs right up into the tube!!! YIKES!!! Oh, Oh, oh, and guess what else I learned?? I can actually have one of the little embies attach to the STUMP from my fallopian tube, and it will operate like an ectopic (not enough blood supply to sustain life). OMG!!!!!

Sometimes I just wish I didn't know what I know....

Weren't you going to get me a pillow? I need to lie down.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Song Lyric Challenge

I decided to take the fun challenge posted by BB - Do The Shuffle. Here's my go at answering life's questions using song lyrics - hope you enjoy!

1. The song for the you that existed before you ever thought about your fertility:
Dixie Chicks - "Cowboy Take Me Away"
I said I wanna touch the earth, I wanna break it in my hands
I wanna grow something wild and unruly
I wanna sleep on the hard ground, In the comfort of your arms
On a pillow of blue bonnets,In a blanket made of stars
Oh it sounds good to me I said
Cowboy take me away,
Fly this girl as high as you can Into the wild blue
Set me free oh I pray, Closer to heaven above and Closer to you
I wanna walk and not run, I wanna skip and not fall
I wanna look at the horizon And not see a building standing tall
I wanna be the only one For miles and miles
Except for maybe you And your simple smile
Oh it sounds good to me

2. Would you really want to go back and be that person again?
U2 - "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
I have kissed honey lips, Felt the healing in her fingertips
It burned like fire, This burning desire
I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night, I was cold as a stone
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

3. The song for when you first started fertility treatments:
Garth Brooks - "Standing Outside The Fire"
We call them cool,Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go And risk the tables being turned
We call them fools, Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always comes with getting burned
But you've got to be tough when consumed by desire
'Cause it's not enough just to stand outside
the fire

4. What did infertility do to your sex life?
The Righteous Brothers - "You've Lost That Loving Feeling"
You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips.
And there's no tenderness like before in your fingertips.
You're trying hard not to show it, (baby).But baby, baby I know it...
You've lost that lovin' feeling,
Whoa, that lovin' feeling,You've lost that lovin' feeling,
Now it's gone...gone...gone...wooooooh.

5. What about superstitions and fertility rituals?
Unknown performer - "I Got Rhythm"
I got rhythm,
I got music,
I got my man
Who could ask for anything more?

6. How about "alternative" treatments (such as acupuncture, yoga...)?
Pride by U2."
In the name of love. What more in the name of love."

7. How do you feel about coming out of the IF closet?
Sarah McLachlan - " "
I'm so tired that i can't sleep
standing on the edge of something much too deep
it's funny how i feel so much yet cannot say a word
we are screaming inside oh we can't be heard

8. Your song for other people's baby showers:
James Taylor - "Shower the People"
Just shower the people you love with love
Show them the way that you feel
Things are gonna work out fine if you only will
Shower the people you love with love
Show them the way you feel
Things are gonna be much better if you only will

9. What about our scary friend hope?
Sara McLachlan - "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy"
All the fear has left me now, i'm not frightened anymore
it's my heart that pounds beneath my flesh
it's my mouth that pushes out this breath
and if i shed a tear i won't cage it, i won't fear love
and if i feel a rage i won't deny it, i won't fear love

10. And lastly, the theme song of your fertility journey:
Alanis Morrisette - "You Learn"
You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn

You grieve you learn
You choke you learn
You laugh you learn
You choose you learn
You pray you learn
You ask you learn
You live you learn

11. Extra Credit: How do you feel about the loss of a pregnancy?
Peter Gabriel - "I Grieve"
It was only one hour ago, It was all so different then
Nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did, This flesh and bone
It's just the way that we are tied in
But there's no one home I grieve... for you
You leave... Me

So hard to move on, Still loving what's gone Said life carries on...
The news that truly shocks is the empty, empty page
While the final rattle rocks its empty, empty cage...
And I can't handle this I grieve... For you
You leave... Me
Let it out and move on Missing what's gone
Said life carries on... I said life carries on and on... And on

12. Extra, Extra Credit: How do you feel about "trying again" after a loss?
Richard Thompson - "Wall Of Death"
Let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time
Let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time
You can waste your time on the other rides
This is the nearest to being alive
Oh let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death

Note: If you've never heard of Richard Thompson you owe it to yourself to check him out, he is really pretty amazing - his site is available here: http://www.richardthompson-music.com/ - best song is "Beeswing" in my humble opinion.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy Camper!

Hey guys, I was officially a "Happy Camper" this weekend.

My hubby weighed my pack at 20lbs before adding water and some food. So, I carried about 23 lbs into camp. Everything went pretty well with the pack - going to and coming from camp I had slight pain in my abdomen and cramping, but nothing too dire. I had to stop a couple of times to let the cramping stop, but made it just fine.

Our surgeon friend asked after me when we arrived at camp, and was happy to see that my pack wasn't too heavy.

We had great weather, just chilly enough to need a good fire, but not so chilly as to be uncomfortable. Wonderful!!

This trip was called "Camp Emily", because this was our good friends' daughter Emily's first camping experience ever. It was a short hike, about a mile, and was perfect for a little girl of 3. She made it like a trooper!!! We all had a good time singing camp songs and making smores.

We had "Camp Kathleen" last year, when another friends' daughter reached 3. This year she was a very proud "Veteran" camper, and showed off her smores-making skills. :) They became fast friends, and you would never know they didn't know each other before this weekend.

I love how easily children can make friends - best friends. They played in the biggest all afternoon... They played "teacher", "Wedding", "Princess" and "Explorer" in a 5x5 tent. It is amazing what a real imagination and a couple of blankets and scarves can do for an evening. :)

I got to share in being Mommy this weekend, as both of the girls are secure in being with me. They love to climb on me and ask me to sing songs or teach them games. Their favorite game was "Fix your hair for the Wedding!", and they did my hair in their "salon" (aka my camp chair). Did you know a mix of salt and pepper and ice cream is good for your hair? Along with a creme rinse of ketchup and dirt? It is a proven fact! *no hair was harmed, it was all pretend*

If you should find yourself on the roster for a backpacking trip - be sure you buy Mountain House, Beef Stew for your dinner. Accept NO substitutes - really, really!!! This dehydrated dinner requires only a cup of boiling water and 7 minutes, then Voila! it's done! MMMMMmmmmm Good Eating!!! :) It is good enough that I might get some to have around the house for when I don't want to cook! :P

My IF did come with me on this trip - as it comes with me everywhere, everyday....

Want to know what was best about IF this weekend?? The sharing of infertility stories, trials, and successes. All of the ladies at camp (3 ladies, 3 families at camp) have all had infertility troubles. We have shared our losses with each other over the past 3 years - between the 3 of us we have had 8 pregnancies that did not survive, but also two wonderful little girls that did (Emily and Kathleen). One of our group is now 9 weeks pregnant, and we are so hopeful that it is a healthy and happy pregnancy.

We talked about latest treatments and tragedies, then we shared sympathy for the pregnancy symptoms of our current mommy-in-waiting. We all laughed about her frequent trips to the bathroom, and pushed crackers on her when she was nauseous. It was a good, heart-felt time.

Just call me a Happy Camper! Life is pretty darned good...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sanity Check on Isle 9....

I can't decide if my RE is right or wrong on a certain topic - need advice...

As you know, I just had tubal removal surgery last Thursday, and during a post-op call on Friday my doctor told me I was under no weight-lifting restrictions, and that I could carry whatever weight I felt like.

I explained to him that Hubby and I are scheduled to go on a very short backpacking trip this coming weekend (9 days after surgery). He said he "didn't care what I picked up" as I was "under no restrictions".

I asked a surgeon friend of mine what he thought. He is going on this trip, and will be the one to fix me if my Dr. is wrong. :)

Off the record he said I should be carrying no more than 10lbs by that point - as the (abdominal) pressure over time is the real worry, not the picking up of the pack.

So, which is the real story?? Anyone have a professional opinion on this??

My pack is typically 25 - 30 lbs when filled for this kind of trip. It is a professional-level pack with good support (hip belt) and inner frame. These attributes reduce the amount of strain it causes, and the type of pressure that is exerted, but it transfers the weight to my hip/belly area.

Hubby is already making plans to distribute the weight of my pack to the other campers, but I want more info before I take off on this adventure...

Saturday, March 3, 2007

My Rank...

Hmmm... I'm trying to figure out what my rank is... Read Ranks over at Down and Out

Whatever it is, Hubby just told me I've been awarded a Purple Heart for being wounded in action. I'm also on the "disabled veteran" list for a while!

What would be my rank? I have had 5 IUIs, one chem PG, and a double-ectopic pregnancy that was just removed?

Can you believe I'm not AWOL!?!? I'm a dedicated soldier, Sir!

No really - what's my rank? I need to know what kind of pension I'm going to get!!!


Our wonderful blogster gets the prize for giving me my first laugh about IF after my surgery!

Love it!

Hanging In and Hanging Out...

Hey guys, just checking in to let you know I'm still hanging in there...

I'm also hanging out with some of my friends that have come by to help me with recuperating. Thanks Guys!!!

I'm in quite a bit of pain - bearable, but very uncomfortable when I stand, walk, or try to get up/down. Sleeping is interesting, since I have to stay on my back. I can't lay on my side because it hurts WAY too much. I don't like to sleep on my back - it's been fun!

Unexpected thing that is bothersome - I am short on clothes I can wear because of my incisions. Usually, I wear "fitted" dress pants or slacks (no elastic or string waists) and so all of my clothes are too tight while my abdomen is swollen!! I can't wear things that have a button at my belly button either! Not sure WHAT I'm going to do on Monday for something to wear. Hmmm... Any suggestions from those that have done this?

Hubby is still being a dream. He is so thoughtful and solicitous of my needs. I can't thank the heavens enough for his help. I have been relying on him for picking up things I dropped, running to the store, and helping me put on socks, undies, pants, etc. I can do the undies and pants on my own now, but couldn't until this morning.

It is truly amazing what we take for granted!

Life is going OK, I guess. I haven't been really unhappy or depressed, except when Hubby mentioned that someone asked about our "baby plans". I got really quiet, and quite sad. I think I scared Hubby because I was so quiet all night. I didn't want to talk to him, didn't want to share my thoughts. I was just lost in space.

Here's the trouble... Since this whole thing started I hadn't considered what we would now "tell people" about our future plans. We've always said, "We're trying...". Now I'm not sure if we are trying, or ever will try again. I'm pretty scared to try again at this point.

Since they took the left tube out I'm not really scared that I will have another ectopic pregnancy. I am scared now, more than ever, of being pregnant and having it go terribly wrong. I wonder, is this God's way of telling me, "Thou shalt not be fruitful and multiply!"? Or is fate, or my body, keeping me from being pregnant to ward off some horrible outcome? Who knows....

I know it is sort-of silly, but I can't seem to resolve the questions in my mind. It is too soon to tell what the outcome will be. So until the future becomes a bit more clear, I'm just taking it day-by-day and trying to maintain until the path is more obvious...

Thank you to everyone for all the words of support and comfort. I am going to do my best to follow your welcome advice - rest and recuperate. That's all the plans I have for now...

Talk to you soon...

Friday, March 2, 2007

"Ouch" at pucker-factor 9 is not good...

Ladies, once again, thank you for all your kind words and support. You've done wonders to get me through the nerves and stress I've been feeling.

Surprisingly enough, I feel OK enough to write this email, even with all I've been through today...

Hubby rushed me to to the RE's office for an emergency US today, because I was in excruciating pain on my left side, lower abdomen. The pain was like a sharp object was lodged in my side. At the worst of it, the pain radiated from the one spot down my leg and up my torso. I was at work, and by about 11 AM this morning, I was unable to sit, stand, or concentrate on anything but pain.

The gentleman that sits one cube over from me is an MD. Convenient huh? I work for a healthcare software development company, so there are many RNs and MDs in the house.

Dr. S was a real sweetie, and discretely ran through what might be causing my pain. He narrowed it down to a couple of pretty bad things pretty fast, and said I should go to the Dr or emergency room ASAP.

I can truthfully say, that was the first time I've ever had a Dr's appointment at my desk!

The scan showed no pregnancies in my uterus - not a blip. It did suggest there might be one or more in my left fallopian tube. While the US with a wand was bad (read, ouch-ouch-ouch-yeouch) the manual pelvic exam (palpating my my girlie-parts by hand) sent me into orbit with pain. Those two things, along with the 4 hours of continuous pain, gave us a pretty good indication that it wasn't going to be a good or easy problem to fix.

Hubby was wonderful, kind, and loving during all the probing, and covered my eyes for the worst of the pain. I don't know why, but it makes me feel somewhat detached, and therefore a little better. :)

Diagnosis? Emergency laparoscopic surgery to remove what appeared to be an ectopic pregnancy that was about to rupture.

There were, in fact 2 pregnancies in my left tube. I don't have all the details because I've been woozy since the surgery, but I know that the tube had been badly damaged by the issues and had to be completely removed. My RE is pretty conservative in the area of removing things, but said it could not be saved as it was already in bad shape when he started the internal exam.

I am glad to say that I made it through it, and am only so-much worse for wear. I still have a very sore throat from being intubated for the surgery, and my belly feels like I've been shot a few times (no, never been shot before, just guessing since both methods cause holes).

I'm not really sad yet, but I am sure that will come.

Lots of support is on hand...

Hubby has been the patron saint of support to a spouse. He never left my side during the Pre-op gyrations. He kissed me lots, and wouldn't let me get sad about it. He is out right now, at 1 AM, getting my RX filled, buying my liquid diet needs, and some cat food I had planned to pickup on the way home from work tonight. :)

There's always a cat theme with me, isn't there!?! LOL

My friend D is coming over tomorrow to sit with me while Hubby works. My friends S&S have offered to run errands, provide shoulders, and be there fore me as needed. My Mom is jonesing to come, and I would love to have her here. I'm thinking she'll make it to about 11 AM before she gives up restraining herself and drives South. :)

Obviously, we have NO information on future tries, plans, or anything like that. We are going to get me back on my feet, give it a few months, and see where we end up. I'm totally OK with that plan.

Thanks again for all the support girlfriends!

Maybe I'll be back in the saddle in a while... Maybe I'll continue to post... Maybe I'll drop off the face of the IF earth for a bit... In the meantime however, I'm just gonna be me for a while...

* group hug*

Feel free to ask questions, etc. I don't mind sharing what I know, just don't want to bore you all to tears...