Friday, March 28, 2008

Fade to black

It's ectopic. Nothing else to say.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Gray Land

Welcome to my world of gray. I've been to this strange land before. It's eerily familiar and this world seems to really like me despite my constant attempts to escape it. It envelopes me with it's oblique suggestions until I have no where to go. It lingers and pauses, stops, moves backwards and then forwards as if playful gestures to me. It's doesn't like to settle on one color, or rather non-color. That would be too easy, too clear, too definitive. It likes to dance with tints and shades that suggest and imply. It's all innuendo. As I am surrounded with no way out, I will wallow in gray land where the dangers are clear. The longer the wallowing, the more chances of unnecessary hopes. But since in gray land there is no where to throw your stake into the ground, I'll just have to float and hover and drift through all this gradation. 

Beta went up to 710. Nothing yet seen on ultrasound. Next ultrasound is this Friday - that should determine which end of the spectrum I am on and I will finally fade to black or white.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Scientific Conclusions

Science is rational. Experiments are performed to gather numerical data from which relationships are derived, and conclusions are made. As my study shows above, beta patterns that follow the same past data equal predictable outcomes. My third beta went up from 68 to 145. Just like my IVF#1 ectopic went up on the third beta. So yes, it doubled, but if you connect the dots, all you get is a broken heart. 

So why do I still read through beta bulletin boards trying to find stories of success with low rising betas? What is it about humans that either need to torture ourselves or are innately hopeful? I've read about a zillion online posts with the same desperate plea of finding hope in low rising betas. I tend now to just skip to the last post where I inevitably find the "So sorry" because the person's story always ends in ectopic or miscarriage. Sure, there were a handful with the success stories of a vanishing twin or just slow rise that made it to a heartbeat, but those posts also tend to stop before really knowing if they made it to a live baby. 

Right now, miracles and faith don't seem to work on my graph. I tried to fit them in but they certainly aren't data points, they are generally off the charts. So I find myself trying to stay one step ahead of this doomed outcome. I am constantly trying to reconfirm I am right all the time that this is going to end badly because it gives me some satisfaction. It makes me feel like I am in control and that I've won. Yes, it's like some arm wrestle between all this bad evidence against that sliver of unknown we call the future. I can somehow take all my bad evidence and slam the arm down saying that you can't fool me. I can predict the future and I can be ready for the news so you can't hurt me. 

This is opposite to my husbands outlook, who's graph would be quite different. He would have my beta points plotted and then say, "Waiting for next step." So simple, so clean, no mess, just very open to what the future brings. I am amazed by that. I can only be this Tasmanian devil of cynicism whirling around saying, "I told you so, I told you so. I knew this would never work." So what is the next step you ask? Monday we meet with our RE and I assume he'll do another beta and ultrasound. It's probably too early to see anything, so we probably won't see anything. Then he'll say come back in a couple days and we'll look again. Then we'll do another ultrasound because my betas will continue to rise and we will see nothing. Then I will have to make the hard choice of getting surgery and losing a tube or going through the hell of the methotrexate shot and wait endlessly for beta to get to zero, all the while worrying I might rupture. Did you notice? I'm doing it again. I am finding satisfaction in predicting the future because I can say, "I was right." 

So with all this confirmation of being "right," I still find myself hoping I am wrong. How much do I want to write "SUCKER" on my forehead whenever this feeling comes to me?! It's amazing what the heart keeps trying to do to make the story end happily, even an already broken heart.

P.S. I want to send out my most sincere thank you to all of your outpouring of support and sympathy. I know all of you really understand what this disappointment means and how hard it is to get through without some kind words. I also realized that writing is truly a good friend to me and that if I abandon that, I will be left with no spirit. It's hard enough to try to walk away from trying to have your own biological baby, that I think I must keep writing.

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's over

Beta did not double. It went up to 68. I'm done with this pregnancy, and I think I really am done with IVF. No more. I knew in my heart that this beta was too low and now I have a dull aching feeling that this is ectopic again. Why not? That certainly would be a balanced trilogy of loss- begin with ectopic and end with ectopic. Every time I think that things would be too cruel to happen, they do anyway. I prayed for some mercy this morning, but guess there's none allotted for me. This is the life we signed up for with IVF and I think I have to close this door, at least for a while. I thank you all for being here with me through this. I wish I could have better news, but this just doesn't seem to be working for me. Granted, I am in the heat of the moment so things can change in terms of my all out quitting, but right now all I can think of is that it's now time to look into adoption. It's time to get out of this purgatory of bull shit pregnancies that come to nothing.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Victory, but the war isn't over

So Little Miss Positive prevailed and slaughtered Darth Negative. Yes, it is a BFP, however I say this with much much caution. My beta is pretty low at 50 so my heart won't believe this is real until we see this number get higher. This morning as I barely got myself out of bed to get to my clinic I noticed some brown spotting. This proceeded to catapult me into a major melt down as I cried all morning waiting for the dreaded call from the nurse. I felt ruin and despair all over again. My heart was broken, and still might be, and my reasons come from experience. I've been down this road before.

A. I had a low beta with my ectopic. I am praying with every cell in my body that this is not ectopic. Please join me in the plea that I will be spared this experience all over again.

B. The brown spotting I also had with my ectopic. Again, I am praying with every cell in my body that this is not ectopic. Please join me in the plea that I will be spared this experience all over again.

C. I am worried the low beta might also mean it is chemical or miscarrying. My last IVF pregnancy, that was indeed in the uterus, had a beta well above 200.

So this is good news and bad news. In my heart, I am half acknowledging that this may not be viable and the other half is still hanging on to some hope that every pregnancy is different. I am in the heinous gray zone and until Monday's 2nd beta we won't know if this is just a small win that will quickly fade back into combat or we are at the start to finally finishing this war. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pièce de résistance

It's all come down to this. Little Miss Positive's whole reason for living has come to this final showdown. As I wait for how my IVF trilogy will end, I wonder if it will wrap up like many satisfying trilogies with the third installment concluding with return, resurrection, and redemption. Will this be a profoundly balanced Star Wars trio, or will this drag on like a Police Academy 4 and 5 where each sequel is more ridiculous than the one before?

As we all know, the two week wait is a magnet for negative thinking. I've been left to my crazy self to try to predict if it worked or not. Unlike the first days after transfer when I felt so flushed with joy with the hard hurdles behind me and implantation ahead, the days leading up to beta make my once happy cruise ship become the titanic. I keep expecting and looking for the iceberg that's going to sink us. I'm crampy, but that could be PMS. I had smelly urine with my last IVF pregnancy, and no sign of it this time. So now I am obsessed with my pee. I'm getting hot flashes and sore boobs but that can be from the progesterone. Then I start to do the lesser of evils asking myself, "Between another failed pregnancy and a negative, which would you take?" You're just fucked any way you look at it. 

So Little Miss Positive knows that this is her chance for a pièce de résistance - her most important part of the collection, the best part of the meal, and most importantly, a chance to prove me wrong. She also knows that she'd rather not be burned and thrown in the trash, as this is what I feel like I would do to my soft plush friend if this doesn't work. So she's gearing up for the fight of her life. It's the ultimate battle between good and evil, light and darkness, good luck and bad luck. But when I look at this epic clash of powers, this messianic climax soon to arrive on beta day this Saturday, Little Miss Positive once again reminds me it's not in my control. It's not even in the control of positive thinking. I believe it comes down to the force. The higher power, God, the universe, the holy roll of the dice, however you want to look at it, is the one in charge. So, yes, I have to say, "May the force be with me, please please please!" My only consolation in these 4 days before beta, besides a lot of praying, is a fortune cookie that simply and truthfully stated:

"The only sure thing about luck is that it will change."

Hopefully this will be the last episode of the adventures of Little Miss Positive. If not, stay tuned for reruns on Channel IVF, The Art of Being Infertile.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Wait

This crap shoot we call "reproduction" involves a hell of a lot of waiting. Yesterday's transfer went well and so I have officially begun my 2 week wait. I now lay in bed dreaming of my three embryos starting their new adventure. I envision my uterus saying "Welcome aboard!" like a perky cruise ship director pointing my three embies toward the sunny deck chairs where they can plop themselves down, order a margarita, and grow. I make sure my uterus informs them of the cruise ship's strict policies. Number one - absolutely no one is allowed down either of these fallopian tubes. They may look enticing but they only lead to darkness and your imminent death. Second - no jumping ship, there are no life rafts. Once on board, stay on board. Then my ship sets sail into the beautiful horizon and all together we take our slow boat to China.  

So when I think of this long boat ride with hours, days, weeks looking out onto open ocean waters with no end, I can't help but log everything that I've waited for and will have to wait for in this infertility process. In reviewing all these waiting moments, the only thing I know for sure is that this experience has required something beyond patience. A new word should be invented to describe this kind of waiting because there is nothing in the English language that really comes close to describing it. 
  • 3 minutes waiting for a home pregnancy test result (10 min if you fish it out of the trash to check one more time that it didn't suddenly change to positive).

  • 30 minutes to an hour waiting at my fertility clinic to be called in for my blood tests and ultrasounds.

  • 7 to 9 hours waiting for the nurse's phone call telling my results for every test.

  • 3 days waiting to see if my embies survived.

  • 2 weeks waiting to know if my beta is positive. Then weeks more waiting to see if your beta doubles, then weeks more waiting to get through your ultrasounds. Altogether potentially 9 more months of waiting through an endless slew of tests before I finally, maybe, possibly, hopefully have a live baby.

  • 11 weeks waiting for my miscarriage to get to zero.

  • 15 weeks waiting for my ectopic to get to zero.

  • 3 years waiting to get pregnant - not half ass pregnant, really pregnant.

  • 23 years waiting for pregnancy to finally give my tiny chest a chance for real boobs only to be foiled by infertility.

  • Waiting for what feels like an eternity for my luck to change.

Sunday, March 2, 2008