Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Lucky me, I just found out I received my second blog award today! I'd like to thank the academy, my dear husband for providing colorful content and my wonderful readers! No really, thank you to Flutterby918 for nominating me! I think you were he first blog I started following upon embarking on this journey. You've always been uplifting and encouraging!
The instructions that go along with this award are as follows;
- Thank the person who nominated you
- Copy the award and place it in your blog
- Link to the person who nominated you
- Tell us 7 interesting things about you
- Nominate 7 bloggers
- Post the links to the 7 bloggers you nominate
7 interesting things about me:
1) I met my husband on Match.com 5 1/2 years ago
2) Michael and I both scuba dive and were thrilled to see reef sharks while diving last spring in Belize
3) I have been skydiving
4) I have two wonderful rescued pit bulls, Nina and Billy and they are the sweetest dogs
5) In May we are hosting a 17 year old from Jamaica with a heart condition while he gets medical treatment through a program called Healing the Children
6) I love to cook and like to make a new recipe every week
7) No matter how thin I am, I always have a big ass
Bloggers I nominate:

Monday, February 8, 2010

From the Mouth of Michael: A Kick in the Balls, Negative Beta

Man that hurts. I just got kicked in the balls without expecting it. I am feeling uncomfortable pain and a loss of breath from the blow. This all happened when I picked up the phone. Yes, by picking up the phone. It was Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010. I thought this was going to be the day when I would receive the biggest relief I would ever experience. Before going into that day, there was a really good feeling of hope that Rebecca and I were going to get the great news that Rebecca was pregnant. Unfortunately, it wasn't going to be the day I was envisioning.

It was about 2:00 pm when the phone rang. I answered the phone in just 1 ½ rings. I don't know if there is such a thing as a 1/2 ring, but the point was I answered it quickly and we know there is no way of answering the phone on just the first ring. My heart was beating and I was able to keep the phone rested against my ear from shaking. It was weird because I played out this phone call in my head all day long. But I was playing it out all wrong. In fact it was the complete opposite. I was expecting to be smiling and crying all at the same time. But, the real way it played out was I was stricken with shock. I didn't know what to say or think. We put so much into this. It was our fault for being so optimistic about getting pregnant this time. I would have to say I was 85% sure I would be getting a call with saying it worked.

It has been 4 full days since we got the "no go" news. It has been a hard transition from feeling really happy and glowing a week or so ago, to feeling confused, frustrated, sad, etc. I think we are experiencing every feeling known to man all at the same time. This is our test. God or whoever is in charge of letting someone get pregnant was not going to do us that favor. Instead, I would like to view it as "the baby keeper" wasn't willing to bless us that day. He was testing us on how we would react and feel. "The Baby Keeper" did this to make Rebecca and me stronger and more in sync with each other. After the dust settles and we are able to grapple with our infertility problems and decisions, we will look back and say we are even more prepared to be responsible, understanding adults that can come up with tough decisions in the future. With our situation and the recent news, we are being trained and prepared for tough obstacles life throws us.

If I felt like I got kicked in the nuts, I can't even come up with anything that would resemble the pain Rebecca was feeling. Maybe it is like a blow to the head resulting in a concussion. Or maybe the feeling of getting stabbed in the heart. Whatever she felt, I wish I could have felt the same thing so I would at least feel we got even "blows".

She was getting injections daily. These injections were causing crazy hormonal and chemical shifts to occur. The shifts brought feelings of uncomfortably and emotional highs and lows. I don't want to make it sound like Rebecca turned into a poltergeist and had her head spinning all the way around. Rebecca is doing as well as any female could do in this situation. She is a strong girl, but her emotions fly out like fireballs sometimes. She went through the ringer for almost a month only to get news that all those sacrifices did not work. I feel bad for Rebecca, more so than I feel sorry for myself or us in general. She did better these past few days than I expected. By saying this, in no means do I say she was alright. I am just saying I was experiencing a tornado. Her emotions were building for every moment she thought about the "negative". The buildup was causing me to think of sirens and me rounding us and the dogs up to go in the basement before our house is ripped off its foundation.

What causes a Tornado:

Tornadoes (build up of negative emotions) occur with thunderstorms (injectable stimulating medicine). There are a couple of ways that they form. Most strong and violent tornadoes occur with super cell thunderstorms (hormonal imbalance). Thunderstorms occur when warm moist air (Lupron) is forced upward by the heat of the afternoon sun, a cold front, or other weather disturbance (syringe). If the atmosphere is unstable (all the damn doctor visits), strong upward currents (Gonal-F) called updrafts lift the air until water vapor condenses forming clouds (follicle stimulation) and precipitation. The falling precipitation (HCG the trigger), causes a downward air current called a downdraft (time waiting in between retrieval and transfer). So to have thunderstorms (inject able stimulation) there must be:
1) Moisture (Lupron)
2) Unstable air (Gonal-F)
3) Something to lift the warm moist air up.

But as I mentioned most tornadoes occur with a special storm type called a super cell (the whole IVF process). Super cells occur with a certain wind conditions. The updraft in a thunderstorm to rotate (estrogen dominance). If the updraft is strong enough (levels as high as 450 pg/ml) and if the wind shear is strong enough, a tornado may occur. Super cells (Progesterone injections), also produce large hail (bloating), strong winds (loss of energy) and heavy rain (cramping).

What to do when a tornado hits:

Go to a pre-designated shelter (hug your wife) area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement (no hug), go to the center of an interior room (let her cry on your shoulder) on the lowest level. Stay away from corners (not listening), windows (say too much), doors (say something that is going to upset her more), and outside walls (don't distance yourself from your wife). Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside (give more hugs and kisses). Get under a sturdy table (talk) and use your arms (closeness) to protect your head and neck (thoughts). Do not open windows (think only negative thoughts).

I am no meteorologist, but I do feel like I am an Invitro-confused-saddened-oligist. I don't really know much about weather. I had to Google all this information. I just copied and pasted all this unnecessary information. I hope who ever reads this learns something. Weather is much easier to predict and easier to caution yourself and others from the elements. But the Invitro process is not easy to predict and when it is occurring, you don't know what the fuck to do or expect. Things can happen to a couple when you are not ready for it.
I also hope this information about "what to do", helps any husband out there on what to do and avoid doing. Trust me when I say there is nothing you can do to prepare for the bad news. The only thing you can do is pick up the pieces and build a new house. No, I don't mean build an actual new house. (but actually that would be something to take your mind and focuses off of the thought of failed IVF). Pick each other up, give each other a hug, and let things fall into place before proceeding to make the next decision. We are close to that point of coming up with the next plan. A plan is much needed to give us some closure on our recent sad thoughts. We might be facing going with options that we never thought we would ever have to choose.

Today, I am going to see if my insurance will cover another IVF. I am praying we have another one left. It would make our decision to attempt another IVF cycle much easier. The financial risks and costs on all the other options are scary when you are paying out of your own pocket. It is scary thinking if you go the donated egg or adoption route, and it works, you are starting out your new family being $25,000 - $30,000 dollars in debt. In the perfect world you are suppose to be ready to cover the additional cost of having a child.

This is and was a test on Rebecca and I. A test to better us individually and as a couple. We are being forced to make a very hard decision together. It could be the hardest decision we ever make. If it is the hardest decision, we can look forward to things seeming easier in the future. It is like when you are working out. At the gym, you feel pressured to put the most amount of weight onto the bench press bar that you can possibly lift. You want to look stronger by putting on the larger sized weights on. You could put smaller weights on that can equal you maximum weight, but visually it looks more impressive with the one large size weight. So you do a few reps of the weights that made you close to breaking a blood vessel in your head when struggling to push the bar up to the stand. Then you decide to put on less weight. When you do that, the next set of reps seem so easy because moments before you were lifting much heavier weight.
I know I went all over with this analogy. I will try to summarize this up. By lifting heavy weights and looking cool, you are setting yourself up for the next set to seem even easier. By Rebecca and I going through this and being "forced" to make a very hard decision (heavy weights). In the future (second set of reps) will make all other decisions (second set with smaller weights) seem not as tough as they really are. We will know it won't ever get any harder than this. We have hit the peak that everyone (including ourselves) avoid. Unfortunately we cannot avoid this one and we have to deal with it in our own synchronized stride together.

Bonus advice:

To all husbands that have or are going to go through the IVF cycle with their wife, I have a few suggestions. This will help husbands realize what can happen if the IVF doesn't work or let husbands relate to what it is like after getting the bad news. It is a time when your wife is not to strong and is not able to go through it alone. Guys, be strong. Show her that you are saddened, but not in a way that is going to make her cry even more than she probably is already. Also, listen to her and her thoughts before saying anything. Get a feel for where she is at. This delay will help. It is because whatever you say, she is going to be thinking that you have no right to comment on things, because "you don't know how I feel and how much I had to go through".
I made the mistake of saying too much at first. I slowly realized to talk and say the minimum. I don't think any guy knows how to really deal with a very emotionally charged woman. They don't even know how to deal with themselves. Guys you need to realize this and accept that there is no sure way to put out the fire. In my case the well was dry and the fire was spreading. I quickly re-grouped the next day. I just tried to put the idea in her head that we still have a chance for it to work and if not we have other ways to start a family. These words should be used. "If we have to go the route that wasn't our first choice, we have other ways to become parents. In the end of all this, we will have child to raise no matter what. That is a Men's Ware House guarantee."

Guys, get some flowers, a card, chocolate, etc. Anything to make her feel like you care. It also helps makes you look like the best husband at the same time. I went the card route. The biggest challenge is finding one sympathy card that doesn't involve death. I found one that was labeled "motivational" card. It was right by the cheesy sympathy cards. It was a wise purchase and helped ease the tension Rebecca and I were feeling.

The card read like this:


(Dogs and Cats would get along.)

(It would never rain on weekends.)

(Shoes would be comfortable the first time you wore them.)

*****I personally added this*******
Mamabear (Rebecca's nick name) would be pregnant.

(And only good things would happen to good people. Good people like you!)

(Sure wish I Ruled the world)

******I personally added this******
Don't give up hope. We will have a child someday.

If you want to save $3.00, make your own card using these words and look like you are so creative and sensitive all at the same time.

If anyone reads this crap, let me know what you think about it. Thank you. It feels good to vent.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Head Up My Ass: Beta Tomorrow

I'm starting to turn into a ball of nerves. I've felt so confident and positive this entire cycle. I've peed on three pregnancy tests and they've all come back negative. Of course I still have my head up my ass hoping some kind of HCG magical power will bless me with good news tomorrow.

I normally don't have head shoved up my ass, but this is the first real chance we've had at becoming pregnant. Our last IVF was cancelled at the embryo transfer so in my mind, it doesn't even count. Michael knows when I'm imagining myself pregnant, he tells me I glow. It must be the image of us being blissfully happy knowing I'm carrying a baby that keeps my head jammed up voluptuous tush.

I just don't think I'm ready to let go of that hope. Perhaps I need a miracle.