It’s Been a While

It’s been a while…

My last post was about two months ago, right after we found out our embryo transfer was canceled due to my elevated prolactin level. So what did we do? Well, I turned 30, and we went to the beach! We needed that getaway. It was like hitting the reset button for us. My mom was worried that I was running away from emotions. “Breanne, don’t think it won’t still be here when you get back,” she warned. “It” I guess was infertility, disappointment, an impending breakdown, something. And on the way to the beach after we hit a deer on the interstate and drove over a nail (2 different instances), I have to admit that I was thinking, “Ugh she was right! This trip isn’t going to help anything,” because let’s face it, moms are right 99.9% of the time. But this time, she was wrong (sorry, Mama). That trip was just what we needed!

We got back home on Mother’s Day, which was surprisingly easier than last year. Scratch that – it was less hard. Last year on Mother’s Day I ended up deleting the Facebook app from my phone and bummed around my parents’ house all day. I couldn’t even bring myself to go to church and sit in the congregation as all the mothers stood up proudly so their kids could present them with Mother’s Day happies they made in Sunday School. We had just started coming to terms with our infertility and were on the brink of the first round of IVF. That day was pretty dark. And you’d think that a year later, still with no baby, would have been harder, but like I said, it was surprisingly “less hard.” This year, we had more hope. We had a great retrieval. I was pregnant for a few short weeks this past winter. We have good looking embryos in the freezer. And we had a suntan. There was a lot to be thankful for, and if there is one thing this process has brought me, it’s a change in perspective.

The week after Mother’s Day, Aunt Flo arrived, which triggered another prolactin test. Since the canceled transfer, I had been taking Cabergoline twice a week so that my pituitary gland would chill out and stop secreting an unnecessary-at-the-moment breast milk hormone. We let out a HUGE sigh of relief when the results came back at 4, 8, gosh I can’t even remember exactly what it was….but it was low enough that we got the go-ahead for Transfer #3 (again)!

More good news came our way when Nurse Memphis instructed me to stay on the birth control (for down regulation) for only 9 days. 9 days! In my past transfer plans, I was on birth control for 3 or so weeks, so we had already planned that the transfer would probably be in July. But nope, our tentative transfer date is JUNE 19!!!!

Last week, I went to my OB for my baseline ultrasound with my favorite ultrasound tech. Everything looked good, so I’m now taking Estrace (estradiol) and am still on schedule for that June 19th transfer. Next up is an appointment Wednesday to make sure my lining is thick and my estradiol is where it should be. After those results get faxed to Memphis, I’ll get the call with the official transfer date and instructions on progesterone injections. Whoa, that’s next week! As I type it I get a little flutter in my chest that takes my breath away for second. And that’s significant because it hasn’t completely hit me that this transfer is around the corner; it’s happening slowly.

After the canceled transfer, I was miraculously able to push infertility to the back of my mind. Ok, maybe not all the way back there, but far enough that it wasn’t a subject that consumed my life. For a month, there was no shot regimen. No schedule taped to the fridge. No doctor’s appoints. No ultrasounds. No surgeries, thank God. There was just one pill every Sunday and Wednesday. I was enjoying having a piece of my life back that didn’t involve me worrying about growing follicles, a thickening lining, or implanting embryos. And I wasn’t even nervous about my high prolactin. I had been on the medicine before and responded well. We figured that would be the case again. Even once I got my schedule for the transfer mid-May – birth control for 9 days, baseline on 5/31, lining on 6/14, transfer 6/19 – it still didn’t feel…real? I’m not so sure that’s the right word. It’s always real. But I just haven’t readied myself to welcome back all the feelings that come with an upcoming transfer, and I don’t want to go back to the place I was two months ago. This is me totally trying to take control of my emotional well-being. Before the canceled transfer, I was sick with worry. The elevated prolactin proved my body wasn’t ready. The heartburn waking me up in the middle of the night to vomit proved my mind wasn’t ready either. But lately, I’ve felt like a completely different person. That’s why I haven’t blogged. Every time I tried, I thought of something else I should be doing instead, for fear that I would drudge up the worry and stress and probably get some heartburn out of it too. Now, as I write this with the tentative transfer a little over a week away, I still can’t see far enough ahead to picture June 19th. I’m just not there.

And if I dig a little deeper, maybe the reason for the mental block is that there is still one more obstacle to get through. One more checkpoint. And that’s my appointment Wednesday. In the past, these appointments were just something we had to get through to get to the transfer. Now that we’ve had a transfer ripped away from us so easily, these appointments are SOMETHING WE HAVE TO GET THROUGH to get to the transfer. See the difference? Maybe not. It barely makes sense to me…if at all. So as June 19th approaches, just pray that I stay cool and collected once it finally hits me. And when it does, I’m sure it will hit like a needle in the butt cheek…literally.

A Little Perspective Goes a Long Way

This past May, I celebrated my last 20-something birthday. My mom and mother-in-law kept asking for a birthday list; but, honestly and much to everyone’s surprise, I couldn’t come up with a single thing to ask for.  When you’re turning 29, can’t get pregnant, and you’re knocking on the door of IVF, it puts things into perspective. I didn’t want a new purse or jewelry or any expensive gift. I wanted to get pregnant. That was the only thing on my list. That was my wish.

Now, another reality check, but this time it’s different. Over the past week, my longing for a child hasn’t diminished, but it’s been put into a new perspective by the tragedy that has struck Louisiana.  Yesterday morning on the drive to work, I heard that the death toll is now at 13 and is expected to rise.  I’ve seen pictures of families boating down their streets leaving behind their houses, their belongings, and their memories.  I watched a video on Facebook of a man tearing open the roof of a car to rescue a woman and her dog.  A lot of people say they can’t imagine what Brennen and I are going through right now, but we can’t imagine what these flood victims must be feeling.  To face a tragedy like our neighbors in Louisiana are experiencing is a devastation I don’t know.

Often times when you suffer with infertility, you tend to get lost in your despair.  I’ve done it.  It’s easy to do with all that is involved emotionally, physically, and financially.  It’s hard to put into words how you can mourn for something you’ve never had, miss someone you’ve never held, and love someone you’ve never met.  But you do. And when you mourn and miss and love so much all at once, you’re overwhelmed with a feeling of hopelessness. I’ve been there.  But sometimes, we need a break from our own struggle and should do what we can to turn that negative energy into something positive.  We all should realize how much we have to be thankful for in this very moment.  As I watched that poor puppy in the video almost drown, I held my puppy Nelson a little tighter.  I ate dinner with my husband without the TV as background noise, so I could just enjoy his presence.  I talked to my mom and sister on the phone about nothing really – just to talk.

I guess what I’m saying is that we all have our struggles.  And depending on how you look at them, some are worse than others.  But a lot of it depends on your perspective.  So this week for me, I chose not to be so heavy laden about not being a mother. I chose to be thankful. Even though we don’t have a child, are unsure about whether or not we ever will, and still have a tough road ahead of us, for right now, we’re just going to stop and be thankful for what we do have.  We’re not promised tomorrow, but we have so much to be thankful for today.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families affected by the flooding in Louisiana.  If you’re able to give anything to these people whether it’s prayers, funds, time, or whatever, we hope you find it in your heart to do so.