Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A heavy day

Just when I thought things were starting to really come together with our move, we had a set back today, that I fear will put an end to our plans for the second time since May.  We were supposed to go to settlement on our current home this Thursday.  Tonight we get a call from our realtor saying that there hsa been an issue with our buyers' financing, they are expecting a gift from family in Korea, and they were going to have it wired to them in time for settlement. Their bank is requiring that all of their funds be present in the form of a check, so the settlement could be delayed 2 weeks. We then had to go to the sellers of the house we are buying, and beg them for a 2 week delay in our settlement.  This is too much for me to handle, we have already lost 2 buyers and had to give up another house that we loved, I don't think I could go through this all over again.  I'm surprised no one called the police in my neighborhood, because I was screaming so loud at my realtor, I'm sure every neighbor heard.

On top of everything else, I got a call from my RE today, I had several rounds of bloodwork done recently, and she was calling to give me the results, now that the HSG was complete.  It turns out my FSH has gone up quite a bit in a year, so has my estradiol.  I also had an anti-mullerian hormone test, and the results were not favorable there.  All signs are pointing to a lowering of my egg reserve. 

Once we are settled either way with our home situation, we will have to sit down and weigh our options of doing one more cycle with my eggs, vs abandoning ship and going toward donor or adoption.  One silver lining has show itself this week, with R's new job comes new fertility coverage.  If we do decide to do another cycle, at least we will be covered, that certainly eases some anxiety.

I have so much noise swirling around my head right now, I feel like I need to open my front door and just take off running, if it wasn't dark already I would probably do it.  I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Free and Clear

I am so excited to be participating in my first ICLW.  I have not been able to comment as much as I've wanted, it seems like my week went into overdrive just as ICLW got started.  I'm so grateful for the supportive comments I've received, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the stories that I've been able to go through, so far.  I am not sure if next month will be any less crazy, since I will be moving during ICLW, but I will be as active as I can, because there's nothing like this community.

My HSG was uneventful.  The most painful part of the whole experience was the drive to the remote radiology center in rush hour traffic, and then having to wait almost an hour for the Radiologist to do the test.  I took the obligatory 800mg of ibuprofen during my drive to the center, and did not feel much discomfort at all during the procedure.  It turns out that my lone tube is in fact open.  I guess this is a good thing, no one ever wants to be told that their tubes (or in my case, tube) are blocked, that closes many doors, and forces women into more invasive options.  The Radiologist proceeded to gush and say how great it is that my tube is open, and how so many women get pregnant after they have the HSG...it somehow "clears" everything out.  She has no idea what my IF history is, and that even though I'm happy to know that my tube is open, I can't just expect to all of a sudden become pregnant.  It leaves the door open to IUI's, and I'm just not sure if I want to go down that road again, especially with only 1 tube.

I'm very happy to have the test done and over with, it was looming over my head for awhile.  Unfortunately we're going to have to put any decisions on hold until we move, there are only so many things we can handle.  R starts his new job tomorrow, I am very proud of him, he deserves this career advancement, but I know he's nervous.  Smiley has been running a low fever and had a croupy cough that has turned into a head cold...I have several big meetings this week, Settlement on our current house, and Rosh Hashana...this is a big week, I really hope that my little girl is on the upswing or I am going to be the one to have to take off while R gets settled in his new job.

I feel very fortunate to have so many wonderful things going on right now, I am really going to try and focus on moving and getting settled, and then we will figure out what our next step is.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello Old Friend

This Thursday I will undergo a test that is usually one of the first on the menu of assays someone will experience when having a fertility workup.  The dreaded Hysterosalpingogram, or HSG as we have come to know and (cough cough) love it.  Everyone always paints a grim picture of what to expect, a thin tube placed into the uterus, dye injected, lots of pain/cramping as the dye is pushed through your uterus into your fallopian tubes, which may or may not be blocked.  In 2006, when I first had this test, I remember thinking that it wasn't as bad as expected.  Just some mild cramping, the Advil I had taken before the procedure took care of any residual cramping...and the results were that my tubes were not blocked, no obstructions in my uterus.  I remember thinking how relieved I was, unblocked tubes are a good thing!  If my tubes weren't blocked, then the egg and sperm were sure to meet eventually, and therefore fertilize and eventually implant.  At that time I had no idea that fertility or IF was so much more complicated than just blocked or unblocked fallopian tubes.

Last December I was sitting in a meeting with the president of the Hospital where I work, and several other vice presidents from our administration.  In the middle of the meeting I began to experience an intense cramping that I had never felt before, along with abdominal pain and light headedness. I knew something wasn't right, but I didn't want to get up from the meeting.  When I went to the bathroom I saw that I was bleeding (sorry, tmi).  It was the middle of my cycle, I definitely should not have been bleeding.  I continued to ingnore the pain, and event went to a lunch meeting outside of the office...in the snow. Thankfully, my colleague drove. The pain grew worse and I realized that I could not get comfortable at all, I tried not to let on that I was in pain, but it was difficult.  When I got back to my office I called R crying, I told him what was going on and somehow I managed to get myself into the car, to a drug store, and purchased a pregnancy test.  I had a feeling that I was having a miscarriage...I had been through similar situations before, I actually started bleeding in the middle of a cycle when I found out I was pregnant with Smiley...however I had never experienced such pain as I was in at that moment.

I did make it to the drug store, hunched over, picked up a test, and went home.  I took the test and it lit up like a Christmas tree.  I knew that something was very wrong, and called the nurse I had become close to at my RE's office.  I told her what was going on, and asked if she thought I should go to the emergency room, given the pain and bleeding I was experiencing.  She told me I could definitely do that, or, if I could wait until the morning, I could be seen with the monitoring patients.  That entailed driving from my house in the suburbs into DC...but I wanted my RE, not a random ER doc at our community hospital. 

All night I was in terrible pain, I couldn't get comfortable laying down, sitting up, walking...I kept questioning my decision to wait until morning to get to the doctor, but R said that I'd regret going to the ER and having to wait hours.  Stupidly, I drove myself to the RE at 6:15am to make it downtown by 7:00am.  As soon as my RE started the ultrasound she knew things were not pretty.  My abdomen was full of blood, and I had a ruptured cyst on my right ovary.  She told me that I needed to have surgery ASAP, I likely was having a ruptured ectopic, but she wouldn't know for sure until she went in.  R dropped Smiley at daycare and drove down to meet me, and within a couple of hours of getting me registered and over to the hospital, I was in surgery, and my left fallopian tube was removed.

I was very lucky that day.  I could have passed out on the road and had a car accident.  I could have needed blood transfusions.  I didn't even have to stay overnight in the hospital.  But all I could think of was - that was my 6th pregnancy, damn it. And that one took away my left tube...the one connected to the ovary that's more responsive. 

Since my ectopic I've done an IVF cycle that resulted in a BFN.  That was in March.  I have no clear answer to the question - what do we do next? IUI seems like an idiotic move at this point, they have never worked for us before, and now I only have one tube..but it's low tech and it's covered by our insurance, and it may be all I can handle right now, while we prepare to move to a new home, and R begins a new job next week.  I am looking forward to seeing what kind of IF coverage his new insurance may bring...but I am also not sure if I'd even want to do any more IVF cycles if we had coverage.  So many unanswered questions.

So Thursday I will have another HSG to see if my lone right tube is open or blocked...if it's open, we may decide to try a few IUI's, even though the chances of success aren't too high.  If it's blocked, we know IUI's are out of the question, and we'll have to decide if we want to do any more IVF's with my eggs.

I look at my Smiley girl every day and wonder how on earth she exists.  I sometimes even ask her where she came from, and she grins from ear to ear and laughs.  I will think of that beautiful smile and infectious laugh while I lie on the table Thursday, loaded up on Advil, and hoping for an open tube and another miracle.

Friday, September 9, 2011

When it rains it pours

I'm sure by now everyone is ready to say goodbye to this rain that has been pounding much of the east coast all week.  This wet, dreary weather has not made it easy for most of us to ease into a fall mindset after the Labor Day holiday - we've been thrown into it, like it or not. 

Despite the miserable weather, I have had several big things come about that have been wonderful developments, after a summer of ups and downs.  It really is true that sometimes things happen all at one time.  R had been offered a wonderful new job with a government contractor back in July, one that would take him to a new level in his career.  In order to move forward with a start date, the company had to attain final approval from the government; they asked R to hold off giving notice at his current job, as they didn't know how long the approval would take.  It took 2 months, but R was finally cleared right before Labor Day, and will be starting his job in 2 weeks.  I am so proud of him; he has earned this new opportunity that will bring more responsibility, a nice bump in salary, and virtually no commute, vs his current hour commute into DC. 

A week before that, we accepted an offer on our townhouse.  We accepted much less than we had initially hoped to get, but we are still coming out ahead, and it's not like the offers were rolling in, so we felt that we weren't going to get anything much better, if at all.  We are cautiously optimistic that this contract (the 3rd!) will go through, we've passed through the big hurdles that typically can make or break a contract, so we hope to see a 9/29 settlement.  We will be renting back from the buyers for a month, which gave us a nice amount of time to find a house to move to.  We've been actively engaged in the house hunting process since May, so we have been very familiar with what's available in the neighborhoods we like.  There was a house that I loved from day 1, that went under contract before we sold our house the first time...it was a house that had foreclosed a while back, and was bought by an investor that renovated it from top to bottom.  The neighborhood is ideal - Smiley's dacare is attached to the elementary school in that neighborhood, and I loved the idea of her being able to go there, and eventually to the high school that I went to.  I felt very connected to the house, and was really sad that we weren't going to have a crack at it.

We found out that this house's contract fell through a few weeks ago, right before we had a contract on our house. I held out hope that we'd get another shot at it, and low and behold we did.  As of Wednesday, we have a contract on this wonderful home, in the neighborhood that we love, which happens to be right across from where I grew up.  We are crossing our fingers that things work out, home inspection is Monday...if everything goes as planned, we close on 10/4. 

Yesterday, the icing on the cake was getting to see my younger brother for the 1st time in 7 months.  I mentioned in my first post that I've had a lot of issues with my family since my mother passed away (and even before).  My brother and I are 11 years apart, he was adopted from birth, and was the happiest, sweetest baby we could have hoped for.  He was very young when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and his behavior took a turn as my mother's health began to deteriorate.  I plan to dedicate a future post to my brother, as his story is very relavant to my wavering feelings on adoption.  Long story short, my brother had gotten into some trouble with the law, and was sentenced to a year in jail.  He was fortunate to make parole in July, and after a bit of a paperwork delay, was released yesterday.  We talked very often while he was in jail, and I knew that he regretted missing a big chunk of Smiley's life...but we can only hope that his experience has changed him for the better, and that he has learned from his mistakes.  It was a very emotional day for all of us, and my heart just burst when my Smiley girl went to him at the end of the night, and gave him a hug...someone she didn't remember, but will get to know and love again.

It's hard to believe that just a couple of short weeks ago, we had no buyer for our house, no house to move to, no set release date for my brother, no confirmation on R's job, and now all of those things have seemed to work themselves out all at once.  It brings me hope that somehow, some way, we will be able to work out a plan for bringing another baby into our home.  For right now, I will appreciate this current storm of blessings on my family, and will let them sink in.