{Infertile Me} To Beautiful for Earth

A week from today I was going to share our pregnancy news with everyone. I had plans of taking a photo of a onesie that said “my first baby sitter was an embryologist” surrounded by all of the needles used during IVF. This would have been a striking photo to prove to the world that against all odds, we persisted. That photo has yet to be taken, it’s just an idea that will never come to be.

At 10 weeks 3 days I learned that our baby no longer had a heart beat. Those words just like two times before cut me like a knife. This loss is much harder than my last two. We lovingly called this baby “snow pea.” Snow pea was a fighter our first beta was a low 9.4, then it went to 17.6, then 96, and finally 369. At 6 weeks Snow pea had a heart rate of 104 and was proof that miracles do happen. Snow pea fought so very hard to stay with us and we are grateful for the 10 weeks and 3 days that we had with our baby. That was 10 weeks and 3 days of us enjoying this pregnancy and talking to our little Snow Pea. Snow Pea was loved deeply and desperately wanted. We could not wait for September to arrive, as we wanted to meet Snow Pea and take our baby home.

We will not be brining Snow Pea home in September, instead we will be saying Goodbye. I prayed so very hard that this was the one who was meant for us to keep. It’s cruel, I went through hundreds of shots, dozens of scans, and a dilation surgery to end up with empty arms and a shattered heart. My heart she is broken. Jay’s heart is broken too. Our world is turned upside down as we are no longer planning for this little ones arrival, instead we are thinking about next steps as I cry into his chest repeating over and over “this isn’t fair!”

It’s not fair. I am angry, I am sad, and I am broken. I knew the risks going into this, we were so close to being out of the first trimester. I was breathing a little easier and sharing with my closest friends that Snow Pea was on board. Now I have to try and remember who I told so that I can break the news that Snow Pea was to beautiful for earth.

Right now we have no answers, those will trickle in during the weeks to come. Since this is my 3rd loss we are going to have genetic testing done to look for translocations and any other chromosomal abnormalities. Snow Pea will go through testing as well and we will get to find out if Snow Pea was a girl or a boy. Jay and I are leaning towards girl. If our hunch is right, she will be forever known as CoraLeigh Rae or if we are wrong Snow Pea will be named Emmet James.

I have to believe that Snow Pea is with her brothers in Heaven. That somehow some way Lucia was their waiting for her with Baby E at his side. That Snow Pea is whole and that she is no longer in pain. She was a fighter and whatever was wrong with her was to strong for her little body to fight. This morning we talked to her and told her it’s ok that she had to leave, that we understood and that we loved her beyond measure. That we will miss her and we will always always love her until our last breath.

{Infertile Me} Almost Home

I was this (AJ shows you her fingers almost touching) close to motherhood on Monday. Like so close I could imagine meeting my take home baby in 40 weeks close. Monday wasn’t meant to be our day. Don’t worry our little embryos are nestled back into the freezer and we will see them again soon. Just getting them back to me was harder than the Doctor thought.

You see when AJ was made a joke was played on her, she has a very complicated anatomy. I will spare you the details. Coupled with a botched D&C that left her cervix looking like a war zone filled with scar tissue, false passages, and hope. Those two things make it impossible, like they tried for an hour to get through said cervix impossible. Again I am going to spare you the details, just know it was pretty darn painful and stressful.

So where do we go from here? To surgery of course. Surgery to hopefully open said pain in the ass cervix and for the doctor to literally draw themselves a map so they know how to get in. Is it a guarantee? Nope, nope it’s not. But right no it’s all we’ve got. If it cannot be surgically opened and mapped our last resort is a gestational carrier, in which we don’t have Kardashian money so that is out of the question. The doctors are hopeful that they will be able to get into the cervix.

Now I know you are wondering “WTF AJ why didn’t they figure this shit out before hand?!” Like I get you and yes that was my question too. Truth is they ignored me because a lot of women say “I have complicated anatomy” and “10 times out of 10 we get in. You are actually my first.” And mistakes were made too. Communications fell on deaf ears and the nurses didn’t follow through nor did the doctor follow up. I’m sure if they could go back they would do it differently. But we can’t do that, we can only go forward with what we know now.

A plan is in place and they are going to do everything in their power to ensure that our embryos are transferred back to me. Am I angry? Yes of course I am, but I cannot let the anger take over. Am I stressed? Yes, yes I am, but once we get going on the plan it will fade. Has my PTSD bubbled to the surface? Why yes, yes it has and thankfully with the help of my therapist we will get through it. Dealing with medical trauma is no joke. I am going forward with an open mind and hope in my heart. Our turn may be delayed but it is still on the horizon and for that I am grateful.

{Infertile Me} Operation Take Home Baby

I spent Tuesday working from home and anxiously awaiting the FedEx truck. I poked my head out the door at the sound of a truck, no truck was to be seen. Waiting was harder than I thought. This just wasn’t a regular package, this package had been carefully packed and contained a little over $10,000.00 in medication and supplies. That package was our ticket to a take home baby.

Somewhere between staring at spreadsheets and listening for trucks I noticed Cullen scratching at the door. Finally FedEx had arrived. The sweet delivery woman threw Cullen a treat and asked “where’s your kitchen honey, this needs to be refrigerated.” I showed her to the kitchen and signed for the packages. Overwhelmed is how I felt when I looked at my medicine filled counter. It all sank in that I was going to go through with IVF and that this was my one and only chance for a baby.

Somewhere between the needles and vials lies a seed of hope, hope that I to will get to be a mom. IVF is not for the faint of heart, it’s a journey for the strongest of the strong. It’s scary as fuck. You can put in all of the time, effort and money and still walk away without a baby. It’s literally a crap shoot. It’s left up to God and Science. I start priming at the end of August and with a lot of faith and a little luck the egg retrieval will be in September. If we get viable embryos they will be frozen and in November we will transfer our little thawed embryo that could back to me.

Hope and faith become your fuel, you my dear become unstoppable. Right now I cannot comprehend this process in its entirety, if I did I’d talk myself out of it. All I can comprehend right now is eggs. Once eggs are extracted I can allow myself to think about embryos. Once our embryos are safely frozen I can start to think about transfer. After transfer I can start to think about pregnancy. I struggle with the pregnancy piece, it scares the shit out of me and makes me anxious.

I’ve been pregnant twice before which ended in losses. My babies rest in the heavenly skies and paint the colors of the sunrise. My heart cannot take another “I’m sorry there isn’t a heart beat” or “I’m sorry there is not fetal pole.” Those words cut through you like a knife, you cannot think, you just freeze and the tears begin to fall. Your worst nightmare becomes your reality and there is no backing away from it. A piece of your heart lies in heaven and you must walk this earth without them.

My heart she is wise and she knows that we can only do this once. I pray that my third time and Jay’s second does not lead to heartache. I desperately long for the day where I can feel the weight of our take home baby in my arms. That day, my turn is coming. We are all in and there is no looking back! Because the rainbow we’ve been chasing is finally in our grasp.

{Infertile Me} Three steps closer, Three steps backĀ 

For three months I have tried and failed to get pregnant. My life has been consumed by Femera tablets, ovidrel injections, ultrasounds, IUIs, and progesterone. I’ve taken and done all of those things and I am no closer to motherhood than when I started. It is still eluding me. No matter how much money I throw at it or how much effort I put in the one thing I want most in life isn’t yet mine to have. 

Part of me wants to give up and throw the towel into the pile. I tried and it didn’t work. Then deep down I hear a little voice that says “keep going AJ, keep goin.” I listen to the little voice only to have my heart broken. By now I’ve seen and heard so many negatives that it no longer phases me. I am numb to the words “I’m sorry” and to a pregnancy test with no plus or second line.  If I ever see a positive I will probably throw thing on the floor like I did when I found out I was pregnant with baby E. 

It’s been almost two years since my last pregnancy and 7 since my first. The experts say my body is alright and they could not find any reason for me not to get pregnant. I’ve got good eggs and my hormones are good, it’s just unexplained infertility. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to get pregnant on my own. Yet here I am walking in the land of infertility wondering when my turn will come.

Lord knows everyone around my is getting pregnant. Even the weather lady on KARE11 is pregnant, I don’t know her but I can tell you she is having a girl, they announced it on Easter. It’s hard to live in a world where pregnant woman swish on by without a care in the world all glowing and happy. I wonder if they struggled, if it was an oops, or maybe they planned it perfectly. I’ll never know their story unless I ask. I am to polite to ask so that won’t happen.

Right now I am down but I am not out. Because of my insurance I have to switch to what they call a Center of Excellence Clinic. Part of me is hopping that they will find something that the other clinic didn’t find. All I want really is a reason, a reason on why it takes me forever and a day to get pregnant. This new clinic specializes in mini-IVF, I am hoping that they will agree that I am a good candidate and that they will let me try it. Hey IUI didn’t work out so why not try mini-IVF. Why not full blown IVF? Well because it’s not for cool kids like me and it’s expensive as fuck. Mini-IVF costs less per cycle and has comparable success rates to big kid IVF. 

I am taking a break. The month of May is sacred to me. May 13th is Lucia’s 7th angel birthday and May 11th marks two years since I found out that I was pregnant with Baby E. My babies they will always be. Deep breaths, me time, and joy will fill the month of May. I need to restore my soul and get mentally prepared for my appointment at CCRM minneapolis. 

Meeting a new reproductive endroconlogist is scary because you have no idea what they are going to say or what there ideas of treatment are. I am going into this appointment knowing I want mini-IVF, I want a science baby, a better chance at motherhood. If it doesn’t work at least I can take a seat on the bench knowing I gave it everything that I had. That I didn’t fail, because we only fail when we never try.