Monday, August 31, 2009

And Another Failure

It's official. Pregnancy attempt #3 on Clomid is a failure.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Try...

After four months of recurring ovarian cysts, near-constant pain, and constant stress, I finally had a clean ultrasound in July. Unfortunately, it was too late in the cycle to start Clomid, so I had to wait for a new cycle to begin in August. By that time (of course!) a new cyst had formed, but measured only 1.5 cm at baseline ultrasound, so Clomid was still a go.

This is treatment cycle #3 for us, with each cycle being exponentially more stressful than the last. I don't know how much more hubby and I can take. This cycle has been absolutely brutal, for reasons I won't go into here. Because this is our third try, we won't be allowed to try many more times if this is unsuccessful. We're definitely feeling the pressure, because it's now (or very soon) or never. We simply can't justify going further down the fertility treatment road. The next stop would be injectables, which seriously increase the possibility of twins or higher order multiples. While we would welcome two or more babies, the fact is that any pregnancy we manage to conceive is already very high-risk. If we got pregnant with twins and even one had the umbilical cord problem, they would almost certainly both die because the dead one would poison the environment and kill the other one before it reached viability. If, as we expect, the odds of survival for a singleton are 50/50, then the odds of having twins survive is only 25%. We don't want to go there.

Likewise, it doesn't make sense to risk IVF not only because it's astronomically expensive and could result in twins, but also because it just seems to be going too far if my odds of carrying to viability are only 50/50. Since I did get pregnant very briefly on Clomid try #1 and we still have insurance coverage, it makes sense to exhaust the Clomid option and then reassess the situation if it doesn't work.

So this cycle there were 3 mature-sized follicles as well as 3 small ones at follow-up ultrasound. This is promising news. That evening I did the Ovidrel shot (even though I know it does't hurt, I still hesitate with that needle) which set off two days of painful bloating and hopefully ovulation. The IUI was done 42 hours later and it was absolute misery. It was also too late I think. This is really NOT promising. Now we're in the midst of the nerve-wracking two-week wait for the pregnancy test.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Some stress research has shown that women undergoing infertility treatment have an equal or higher level of stress as women dealing with life-threatening illness such as cancer or heart disease. I believe it. My stress level is so high some days it's paralyzing. My kids (thank God they have each other) have to entertain themselves and then I feel like a horrible mother and get even more depressed. I have no control of my life and am afraid to plan anything because it seems my plans invariably get destroyed.

The day that Jeremiah was stillborn was the worst day of my life to that point. But I was so sure that time would help heal my grief and that happier days lay ahead for my family. Instead, the situation has been compounded, first by the loss of Miles, then by infertility, another loss, and now cysts and pain that add to my already unhealthy stress level and delay the ultimate resolution of this issue, whatever that resolution may be.

Recently there's also been the stress of finding a new OB/GYN because my old one routinely didn't bother giving me my test results and didn't call me back for 2 weeks if I called about a problem. Having a good OB/GYN is critical for me, and I need one who can handle complex cases. Hopefully the new guy will be good, but it's hard to tell after just one appointment. At least he said we're not crazy for trying to conceive again.

And of course there's the stress of church, where it seems everyone who could possibly be pregnant is in fact pregnant, including a few miracle pregnancies. It's impossible to focus on spiritual things when pregnant women are sitting on either side of me rubbing their bellies and new babies are proudly being passed around. Church is usually the low point of my week. Being an infertile Mormon is hell on earth, baby. Babies, babies, babies, everywhere but here. I'm afraid this ordeal has outlasted my faith, which is a very frightening thing indeed.

All the fellow-travelers I had in this awful hell of loss and infertility have gotten pregnant and being here is all the more depressing now that I am alone. Every single one of my friends who was having trouble getting pregnant is now pregnant, and only one of them required any medical assistance. Once a friend gets pregnant I often find out about it from someone else. This is the worst possible way to hear the happy news. I am truly glad for them though, and I wish they could understand that.

You'd think that by now, after so much has gone wrong, I would give up all hope of a miracle for my family. Yet hope, like a mirage, seems always to be waiting on the horizon, so I keep fighting to get through another day in hope that someday this pain will end or at least be reduced to a tolerable level. But every time it seems like I've found some real hope at last, it is snatched away. Instead of finding relief there is always more weight added to the burden, yet I somehow manage to get up again and stagger forward towards that little bit of hope shining on the horizon. Even though hope keeps getting fainter and further away, I can't help getting up and going forward. One thing this journey has taught me is that I am damned stubborn and horrible at giving up!