Well, if you can call it a break, but I will get to that in a moment…
Some people have been asking what is going on with us and the fertility treatments. I’ve not written about it in a while just because I’ve been too exhausted both physically and emotionally.
For the last five months, I have spent a LOT of time (and by a lot I mean way too freaking much) here:
Because my life has revolved around this…
Don’t get excited, there is no baby in there. That’s an egg follicle. Every month I had to go to the hospital 3-4 times within one week so they could monitor the growth of my eggs. This was in preparation for my IUI procedure. When the egg follicles were mature they would induce ovulation.
Oh, and before you think that’s really not such a big deal (and I’m looking at most of the men here), because you think of ultrasounds like in the movies where they put the blob of gel on the lady’s belly? No. Hell no.
You know, I’m not even going to resize that photo because I think it needs to be left nice and big, just so you really get the idea of what I’m trying to tell you. This is what they use for these kinds of ultrasounds, and it does not go on the outside. I call it the Ultrasound Dildo. Oh, and just when I would think it ccouldn’t get any more fun than this, it often turned out I’d be having the echo done by some random male intern who looked like he couldn’t be a day over 22. Oh yah, Doogie Howser, good times!
I can safely say that these fertility treatments have pretty much removed any shred of modesty I had left. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing but right about now the homeless guy outside the supermarket could ask to look all up in my lady business and I’d probably let him without even missing a beat.
So anyway, now that I’ve left you with that mental image, I will move on.
In order to grow these egg follicles (plural) my life has also revolved around these…
Daily injections in my stomach and a monthly whopper of an injection in my thigh. Thankfully I am not even remotely afraid of needles and got quite good at giving myself the injections. I really feel for the women who are afraid of needles and have to do this every day.
Even though I am not bothered by the needles, that doesn’t mean the injections were a walk in the park. Sometimes, for whatever reason, it would really hurt.. like REALLY hurt. I don’t know if I was hitting something or if some days I was just more sensitive than others, but there were times where I had a really hard time with the injections because of the pain.
The worst part though? The results… these were hormones I was pumping into myself and I am crazy sensitive and emotional anyway. With the injections it was like PMS all month long, and that was no fun at all. Not for me or for anyone around me. The fact that this was taking place during the winter, when my mood usually takes a dip anyway, and fresh off the back of a surgery? Let’s just say, it made for a rather unpleasant situation.
Of course, I wasn’t the only one suffering. My husband suffered, even though his life really only revolved around this.
No seriously, they really are his sperm!
Yes, suffer he did, by proxy of course. I know I was an absolute nightmare to live with but he did everything he could to try to make it a little easier for me.
Especially during this time… after the procedure was finished and my mind was going crazy, because that’s when the real insanity starts. Once the insemination was done and I was facing the dreaded two week wait, which always starts with this 20 minutes of laying still right afterwards. Two weeks is a lot of time to live in that kind of uncertainty, especially when you are up to your eyeballs in hormones. My head was full of hopes and dreams that kept colliding with my fears and anxieties. Did I care what I was going to make for dinner, my hobbies, my social life or anything else? No, it was all about this, every day, 100% of the time… and no amount of telling me to relax, not think about it or go on with my life was going to change that.
So, hubby knew there was only one answer.
Act like a total clown…
… and keep me entertained.
I will love him forever for that, because it didn’t end on that hospital table. It was every day, whether it was urging me to go out and see my friends, curling up with me for a nap in the afternoon, dragging me out for a walk with the dogs or tempting me with photography outings, he did find ways to help make it better sometimes, and that was no easy task.
Ok, he also kept me stocked with chocolate, the man is no fool! It didn’t bode well for my diet but desperate times call for desperate measures, and these were desperate times indeed.
So, where do things stand now? It’s over… well, for now anyway.
I have had six cycles of IUI, which is all that I was covered for with my insurance, and this last cycle they really went to town with the drugs. I guess it was a last ditch attempt to make it work, but it didn’t. The evidence of the latest failure came this past weekend and it was a pretty rough time for me. Even though deep down I’ve always sort of known that IUI wasn’t going to work for us, I was hoping it would. Of COURSE I was hoping it would, what am I saying, I’d be crazy if I didn’t! I was disappointed, angry, sad, frustrated, ticked off, PISSED AS HELL!
Now where do we go from here? That’s the thing, the journey isn’t over. I am now on a break, if you can call it that. I need to get back on the wagon and lose another 30-35 lbs in order to move on to IVF. They were able to start the IUI earlier as this is done at the hospital and it’s at their discretion, but IVF is done at a separate clinic and it’s a firm rule here in the Netherlands that they won’t do it if you have a BMI over 35.
If only I were taller!
On the plus side, I now am getting the chance to let the hormones leave my system, have at least the spring and summer (and probably fall) free from hospital visits, needles, and hormones, and all the other negative shit that is a part of having these treatments.
On the down side… I am not sure it’s really a break at all. Losing weight is difficult, yes I’ve done it before but I have backtracked and gained about 15 lbs of the 80-85 lbs I’d lost previously. Ok, it could be worse after over five months of the hormones and all that, but still. It’s hard enough to lose weight without the pressure of our future on top of it.
It’s all on me. There’s not a thing Xander or anyone else can do to make this happen. It’s me. Which is fitting, I suppose as it wasn’t anyone else that made me fat to begin with. So I suppose it should be up to me to make it right. Still though, knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that losing weight is hard in the BEST of situations. Trying to lose weight while feeling my biological clock ticking in the back of my head, impatience and frustration because I want to do the IVF NOW and get it over with, and having to re-lose weight I’ve already lost. That’s a bit more difficult. Both our futures rest on my ability to do this. All our eggs are in MY basket (pardon the pun) and if we ever want to have a family I HAVE to lose this weight, and soon, because I’m not 25 anymore.
What also makes it difficult is having spent the last five months having one procedure that didn’t work. It feels like it was all for nothing. I got off track with my weight loss, went through a massive amount of mental anguish and physical pain… for nothing!!!
I do have the choice of doing three more IUI procedures (if my insurance agrees) after I lose the weight and before moving on to IVF. After so many IUI already failing a part of me wants to go straight to the IVF, and I also worry about possible weight gain over those three months which will mean another break again before beginning with the IVF. I will decide that once the weight is off though. I will probably do the IUI just to completely maximize my chances. May as well, I guess.
How will I ever cope if I do manage to lose all this weight, have the IVF and that doesn’t work either? I really don’t know. With my history of depression tied with infertility, I really worry about what that will do to me mentally. I’m already completely crushed after the IUI’s ending without success, but at least I know there is another step. We still have IVF ahead of us. What will I feel and what will I do if IVF doesn’t work and then that it’s, the end?
I really don’t know. I can’t not try though because I’d never forgive myself.
So please, be prepared… it’s going to be a rocky few months here on Canadutch! There may be some ranting and I suspect it will be a lot of talk (and bitching) about weight loss, so please bear with me!