Saturday, December 30, 2006

Holiday and DIUI #3 Update

Well, I'm finally home and getting back to normal again. The holidays have been a whirlwind of activity for about a week now, as we celebrated with both sides of our family and had some travel to boot. It's nice to travel, but it's always GREAT to get home. Hope everyone had a great holiday as well.

Last Saturday, hubby and I celebrated Christmas early. Since we were going to be out of town for Christmas, it didn't make sense to pack up our gifts and go through the hassle, so we opened our gifts that morning. It was nice, he pulled through with some fabulous ideas as usual. I think he liked my gifts to him as well.

After we were done opening gifts, he asked me what I thought the blood test would reveal (I had gone to the RE's office early that morning for my beta HCG). I got the test a day early knowing I'd be out of town starting the next day. So part of me was worried that the reading would be off because I was going in early, and another part of me was just sad and worried that I would be let down yet again. Even though my period was late, I didn't take that as a positive sign since that had yielded nothing last cycle - I think it was just the progesterone messin' with me. So when hubby asked me what I thought, I just started to could it be such a wonderful and blessed time of year when our situation was such a stark contrast? I just couldn't bear getting bad news again right before Christmas.

We hugged for awhile, and then I made myself snap out of it so I could get ready to see my family later that day. I took a shower, brushed my teeth, and settled into my usual routine. After I had done my hair and makeup, my husband came up to me and held his cell phone to my ear. My heart skipped a beat as I realized that it was a message from the RE's office. I held my breath and came in a day earlier than normal...we have your results...merry're pregnant! As she continued to rattle off additional details in her message, I started to cry. The news was even that much sweeter when I saw the look on my husband's face and realized he had already listened to the message and knew what news I was taking in.

My beta was 86! This was a much better number than the 14.7 I got in my first cycle that resulted in miscarriage. My numbers were so low that cycle that I had to go in every 3 days to ensure the numbers were still rising. What a great feeling it was this time when they said to continue my meds and not come back until my 6-week checkup!

So I've now had one week to revel in the fact that I am indeed pregnant. I still don't believe it most of the time, although the symptoms are here in full force. I've had bouts of queasiness (no throwing up yet, knock on wood), extremely tender breasts, very tired, HUNGRY, sensitive gag reflex...all wonderful things because it reinforces this wonderful fact that I have still been marveling about how to fully accept as real. What a special Christmas this has turned out to be. I know I am very newly pregnant, and will probably never feel "safe" until the little guy or girl is placed into my arms. But until then, I will enjoy this time and try to take good care of myself and Kiwi*.

For all of you who are still TTC, I truly hope this news does not sadden you too much. I almost feel guilty sharing because I know there is still so much hurt out there in blog-land. I will always try to be as sensitive as possible to your continued experiences as I can, and I hope you will allow me that opportunity.

On the other hand, I've been anticipating the moment when I could be home again and write this post to let all of you know - because I know you all can really relate to just how big and monumental this news is for we who have struggled with infertility.

*A quick story on why we're calling our little one "Kiwi". When I was pregnant the first time, my husband spoke to my belly to rouse the new embryo, saying "..wakie, wakie..." Not hearing him correctly, I asked incredulously, "Did you just call our baby Kiwi???!?" After we had a good laugh, that was how we referred to the baby ever since. So it just stuck, and we now refer to the baby as Kiwi exclusively.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Feeling More Holiday-ish

I don't know why, but I got bit by the holiday bug this weekend. I didn't go all out, since we won't even be in town for Christmas, but I did get decorations out and deck the halls a bit - while listening to Christmas music :) I got that familiar warm feeling inside that I usually get during the holidays. People are in a better mood, and more generous and thoughtful of others. It may sound cheesy, but the holiday spirit just makes me feel good.

I got 2 DIUIs this cycle, and the first one was pretty uncomfortable. Apparently I have this sharp curve in my cervix that made it hard for the RE to feed the catheter in (he showed me the curve on the ultrasound monitor - it was interesting to see), and he finally got it after catheter number three. I think it was the most bendy and small, diameter-wise. This is the warmest and friendliest RE in the office, but he doesn't really have the touch when it comes to performing a comfortable procedure. My assertion is that he's a guy, and they'll never know what it feels like to have a vagina, so can only come so close to finessing a speculum and catheter up the ole channel. But he did leave with a warm goodbye, bless him...

For the 2nd DIUI, I was instructed to come with a full bladder. Something about the bladder pushing/flattening out the cervix. It was the same RE, and it went much smoother this time. Hubby was with me too, so that was a plus.

So now we wait. Ironically enough, my fertility tracking software says I should expect my menses on, you guessed it - Christmas day! The good thing about this cycle is that I was in way better spirits leading up to the inseminations, as well as on the actual days themselves. Last cycle, I was enraged, name it. Hubby and I were fighting a lot, and those hormones were really raging in me. We have *hopefully* learned to co-exist with these hormones in a harmonious manner!

In other holiday news, I've started on the Christmas cards, and am more than halfway done with my Christmas shopping. The small wrinkle in my holiday progress is that I'm out of town on business for the next few days, and will have to suspend these activities till I return. The upside of this is that once I return on Thursday, the week is practically over, then I'm on vacation for 2+ weeks! I'm really looking forward to this respite from work...I've never taken a vacation this long where I'll have so much time (1 week) to myself. I intend to take some quiet time reflecting on my life, and getting back in touch with my spirit. And playing lots of piano.

Hope everyone is well in blogland!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Crazy Thoughts

I went to the RE's office today, and even though my POAS in the morning did not detect a positive surge, the sample I gave at the office did. The magic wand revealed 1 follicle per side, and of course the one on the right side is larger. The doc did mutter something about the right follicle being up and behind the uterus and potentially closer to my left and unblocked fallopian tube, but of course I was in a *duh* type of fog and didn't think to ask any clarifying questions. Do you all feel as dumb as I do when it's show time with the RE's? I think of soooo many questions after the fact, but nod obediently when I'm actually there...

So I got the HCG shot in the a**, and this time it was a bit painful! Whatever, the nurse said it might have been because the liquid was cold. Ok, so do ya think you could warm it up a little next time? You would not believe how much time I waste thinking about all the little process and operational improvements this office could institue to be more patient-friendly. But by the looks of it, I am not in a unique situation here.

I'm scheduled for a DIUI tomorrow morning. This is the first cycle I'll have gone it alone since DH is away on a business trip. He was really upset with me that I didn't tell him this was "the week", but to be honest - I wasn't really thinking about it all that much this cycle. He wanted to be with me during the procedures...if I get another DIUI on Friday then he'll be able to come along. Tomorrow, however, it's just me, the RE, the nurse, and the strange and almost somber lady that comes with "the goods" in tow.

Obviously, it would be wonderful to get a BFP this cycle. I'm hoping for it, but not counting on it. This is still only my third true time of TTC, what with the azoospermia that we didn't know about for all that time when we first, how I wish I had made my husband get tested sooner!

I was wondering about the guy sitting across from me in the RE's office today, and tried not to be obvious about noticing his discomfort as he sat there alone, waiting for his name to be called. Hubby and I often exchange knowing glances when we see these guys there now, empathizing with them and hoping that they don't get the same news we did. In a twisted sort of way, it's comforting to see all the people that come in and out of that facility. We see people of all races and walks of life, and feel a little less alone in this plight.

So here is where my crazy thoughts come in - what if I am not destined to have children because God's plan is that I devote my life to something else? Do you ever think about those people that have done amazing things in life and noticed they have no children? Think Oprah, Mother Teresa, and all the women you've come across who have amazing lives sans the rug rats. I've often reflected on them and thought that having children would have altered their lives in unimaginable ways, and maybe even impeded their levels of success.

Since my brother died of lung cancer a couple years ago, I have often mulled over taking on this cause and doing for lung cancer what the Susan G. Komen foundation has done for breast cancer. I think that with the experience and business knowledge I have gained through my career that it would be really useful and leverageable to drum up a grass-roots campaign and/or nonprofit venture. People need to get more educated about lung cancer, and stop thinking about it as just a smoker's disease. My brother didn't smoke, and he died of it before he reached the age of 40. This is a disease that is tainted, because people think it is the person's fault for smoking. I've participated in some fundraisers for it, and contribute to several charities focused on cancer. But it doesn't feel like this is enough. I feel like I could make a major contribution and lend a strong voice to this cause. And maybe that's why I'm not getting pregnant. Is that crazy, or what?

Or perhaps I'm meant to focus more on my career, and continue to advance the corporate ladder? I'm a manager already, but maybe I could eventually become a director, and advance even further into the executive ranks. Shoot for the stars, and persevere over that proverbial glass ceiling!

But then I always come back to this overwhelming desire to be a mother, and to raise and nurture a child with the values that my husband and I share. To watch a little being become a toddler, child, teenager, and adult. And to have contributed more in life through this being than anything else I've ever done. And all this brings me back to square one. I really, really want to get pregnant. I'm very good with kids, and they genuinely like me. I'm the auntie who hangs out with my nieces and nephews and engages them in true conversations, beyond the usual comments about how big they've gotten, what grade they're in, and so on. I'm the aunt that feeds them, buys them cool gifts because I'm up on today's trends, and could handle my newest nephew (he's 4 months today) this past weekend with ease. This was the first time I got to meet him, and he took to me right away - and rewarded me with his sweet, sweet smiles, and even copped a feel on one of my boobs. His dad didn't know whether to reprimand him or give him a high-five :)

So here I continue with this third cycle, and these crazy thoughts continue to swirl in my head. I wonder what news Christmas will bring this year.