Thursday, February 23, 2012

Holding Down the Couch

Welcome, February ICLWers.  It has been such a devastating week in the ALI community and my heart goes out to the bloggers who are experiencing losses.  The support and care you've shown to them really make me grateful to be a part of this community. 

You can find a brief subfertility/loss timeline on my right sidebar if you're new to my blog.  Most of our issues have to do with my uterus.  Recently, though, for the first time in 60-something charted cycles, I've become fully aware of my ovaries.  They tried to kill me this cycle.  It was my second cycle on letrozole and I got pregnant the first cycle, so I'd assumed the pains that first time around were (totally worth it) implantation-related ones.  Had the exact same pain this time, though, but for a much longer time, and this time I had zero chance of a little embryo implanting.  We'd found out post-letrozole but pre-ovulation that we had not yet optimized my uterine environment (that's doctor-speak for "needs more surgery, or at least more procedures"), so we opted not to gamble with trying this cycle.

For the past two weeks, it has felt like my ovaries had been replaced by angry baseballs of pain (they're probably smaller than that, but "angry golf balls" didn't sound right).  I feel ridiculous complaining about it when so many of you have gone/are going through IVF; I know I am not getting the Treatments gold in the Pain Olympics.  But it's sucked lately.  The only thing that eases the discomfort is lying down, so when I'm not at work, I'm on the couch feeling like a sloth and indulging my new Downton Abbey habit.

I'm excited to get my period today because it means the ovary pain will end soon.  I'm sure the period will be epic—hello, worst cramps ever (they're always the worst ever)—but at least it's a different kind of pain.  I'm tempted to try a lower dose of letrozole next time to attempt to decrease the hellish ovary pain.  I realize that might be crazy talk, because my doctor says this dose works well for me: nice follicles, progesterone of 22, and, of course, the fact that I got pregnant on it before.  However, the thought of going through this madness again with only a 10% chance of getting pregnant each cycle drives me to despair.  Then I feel guilty about not being willing to submit to two weeks of pain and slothfulness for a possible pregnancy.  Will have to discuss further with my doc.

My next hysteroscopy is March 9.  I'll start taking testosterone tomorrow to thin my lining for the procedure.  Can't wait to take a new hormone, and a male one at that!  My random black chin hairs do not need that kind of encouragement.

My doctor sounds optimistic that she won't see scar tissue next month, but I don't know how much of her talk is just to keep me from feeling hopeless before the procedure.  By giving me hope, I'm trading being depressed now with being depressed later if she unexpectedly finds more scar tissue.  Hope can be brutal.

Between watching TV and chatting with my fertility clinic almost daily, you might wonder if I have time to fit in anything else.  I've managed to fit in a few social engagements, which has been a mixed bag.  Lately, more than ever, there are tons of coworker pregnancy announcements, lots of "I understand such-and-such because I'm a mom," complaints about kids, etc.  The good parts of being social are still outweighing the bad, but the emotional fall-out afterward has been intense.  I don't want to isolate myself like I did after my first miscarriage, but I feel so powerless in the face of "Let's compare labor stories!" and "OMG nursing is soooo hard!"  I completely lose the ability to change topics.

In baby-obtaining news, my husband and I have been fantasizing about convincing his brother to hand over baby #4 to us.  We'd start small, asking for just a weekend here and there.  Eventually, we'd "babysit" more and more often and brainwash the baby into thinking we're his parents and he wouldn't want to go back.  That should work, right?  Baby #5 is coming this summer, so I'm sure the parents will need our childcare services soon.

I received a funny message from an infertility nurse last week.  She left me a voicemail saying that she couldn't answer my question, so my doctor would call me later.  The nurse seemed to be irritated that she'd gotten my voicemail and said, "Please be available when the doctor calls you back."  She didn't give me a specific time or range of times to be available, so it felt like "Don't go to the bathroom, drive, attend meetings, or otherwise live your life until your doctor finds a moment to call you back."  No one would be more thrilled than me never to miss calls from their doctor, but come on.


  1. I got a good chuckle out of the idea of you "stealing" your niece/nephew. And what is with the nurse? In all seriousness, I know they're busy, but so are you.

    I'm so sorry for all the pain. I'm looking forward to the day that you are living pain-free. Until then, I'm hoping your ovaries feel better soon and AF is not as painful as you are predicting it will be. Fingers crossed for no scarring on March 9th.

  2. I too have thought about stealing a niece or nephew - lol!

    I hate the constant baby conversations especially when you can't get away from it. So sorry that this has happened alot for you lately.

    Hoping that March 9 brings good news!

  3. we have come close to kidnapping so many children! sorry to hear you have to undergo another procedure. I hope it isn't too stressful/painful and that it helps get your uterus in the best shape for a future pregnancy.

    That nurse had some nerve! Hope that doctor reached you successfully.



  4. I think our cycles are in synch -- I'm also about to start my period (after a not-so-successful IUI) -- and I'm also going on Letrozole. Totally empathize with the social situations; sometimes it's such a welcome distraction and makes me realize I have really supportive, awesome friends who I should probably have more trust/faith in. Other times, we have new moms come over and make comments like, "Obviously you don't have kids because..." (insert: we have a white rug; we have dinner at 8 p.m.; etc.). Like, yeah, thanks for pointing out that VERY obvious fact.

    Really love getting your updates! I feel like your sense of humour will carry you incredibly far in this journey, so don't take it for granted. :) (Also, apologies for the Anonymous comment; not trying to hide, per se, I just can't link back to my blog unless I want a ton of people/colleagues/readers/etc. suddenly knowing about my infertility issues).

    1. I'm really sorry about your failed IUI. Maybe your body just needs some letrozole to get it in gear. Good luck with your cycle!

      YES about friends stating the obvious. Also, there's the "you're so lucky you get to..." (sleep in, not worry about babysitters, take off for the Caribbean at a moment's notice--as if we actually do). Or, one of my favorites, "You don't have toys everywhere--lucky!" Yeah, we're so lucky. Do you know how much we want to be tripping over toys?

  5. Oh you crack me up! Thanks for the update and the humor. I needed that.

  6. Oh I think its a wonderful plan to brain wash the kid. Oh and maybe you can get dibs on the 5th one as it comes out...just hypnotize the parents into thinking that they are just the surrogates. Okay wishful thinking I know.

    Downton Abbey is addictive. I've got my husband hooked on it too now. LOL

    1. Good point about putting dibs on #5. I like your thinking!!

  7. Sorry your ovaries are being so pissy this cycle! I've had that happen post treatment and it sucks (even if you're not going through IVF). And, what a weird message from the nurse, I find that sometimes the nurses can be so darn moody.

    ICLW #97

  8. So sorry about the pain and difficult social engagement fall-out. I don't think there's any way to get around it. You've been really strong, and we're all rooting for you.

    In other news, I'm happy you have a "Follow" button now! I can get up-to-the-minute updates!

  9. I laughed out loud at the surreptitious baby # 4 plan. Good luck with that!

  10. How much are you loving Downton Abbey? God that show is addictive! I hope your next hysteroscopy goes well and you can be green lit for TTC very soon! I understand how obnoxious it is to wait around...

  11. I like the wording of subfertility. My mom had changed infertility to unfulfilled fertility, but I like your wording too.

    ICLW #6

  12. Here from ICLW! Ugh--cramps are the worst!! I also take Letrozole. I tend to get sore breasts and bad moods from them. I love the idea of stealing a niece or nephew, particularly when there are those who have so many.

  13. Haha I love that your a Downton addict too... your nurse is pain, of course you are going to try to be available ...right! Gosh...
    well we will have to check in with each other after our surgeryies...mine is the 8th the day before yours...good luck!