Thursday, December 5, 2013

The State of the Sharon

I haven't talked much about this upcoming FET.  Been sort of distracted and, I don't know, unable to really think about it.  I just feel so much better when I think about adoption, but I know some of that is a defense mechanism against more hurt.  Not like there won't be some hurt with adoption, too, but it is, at least, unfamiliar hurt!  

Here we go, though.  I've been on meds for awhile now, and yesterday had my lining check appointment with the transfer scheduled for next Wednesday.  We'll be transferring 4(!) 3-day embryos.  My lining looks good and my ovaries are as quiet as they should be, so all is well.

This is my schedule for the next weeks.  

It is insane looking to me.  In addition to all the same old same old, since adding in the G-CSF (Neupogen) I have that additional medication on this chart (that is a belly shot).  I also have very frequent blood draws (CBC w/differential) because of that shot.  These are to test my white blood cell count to make sure I don't over-react to the G-CSF in a dangerous way (in which case I'd just stop taking it).  I am the third of three current patients on this protocol at the clinic and people seem sort of excited about it, so that's kind of cool. One is in her two week wait, and the other will have her transfer earlier next week, I think.  The one patient they had before on this protocol did not get pregnant.  I feel happy to contribute to statistics and knowledge, whether it works on me or not.  

On the plus side, only a couple more days of nightmare insomnia inducing Lupron.  On the negative side, I get to have my first giant progesterone shot in my back in the middle of Ian's work holiday party on Saturday night.  My very good husband has secured us a private room in which to take care of that, since it's not as simple as a belly shot and will involve the lifting of my dress.  I usually only do that after a few shots of tequila, but I'm not drinking right now, so ya know...

The day I find out if the transfer was a success will be December 23rd (two days earlier than they usually make us wait, because of Christmas).  This is 3 days after my birthday and the day after my big annual latke party. I will probably test at home on the 22nd, which is the day I should be able to tell, so I can drink some ManPagnes (my best ever creation of Manischwitz wine and champagne - pronounced ManPain) at my latke party if I want to!  I will drink a glass of wine at my birthday dinner.  Sorry, embryos, but it's true!

Dr. Tran had wanted to do my transfer even though it isn't his week doing procedures, since it is my last one (and we like him and I think he likes us), but unfortunately he has his arm in a sling and won't be able to do it. That's a bit of a bummer.

I'm trying really hard to not think of this as what it actually is - my last shot, likely in my entire life, at having a biological child.  I, instead, seem to be viewing it as sort of the end of my torture.  There's good and bad to that.  I mean, it's good that I've reached a limit and am comfortable with it.  It's good that I've moved from hope and despair cycles into a readiness to move on.  On the other hand, it's not-so-good that every step of this cycle feels like hell to me.  The shots, the appointments, the blood draws, the planning...all of it.  I just hate every minute of it.  It feels so tiring and useless and I am so so so over it.  I'm so done.  Also, I can deny or not think about it as much as I want, but the truth is the truth and what it is is what it is, and I'm afraid of that hitting me intensely later.

I don't think the staff at UCSF really get that I'm done.  The nurse yesterday seemed surprised that I proclaimed this my last cycle when I will still have 3 embryos left frozen after this.  I guess I'm an outlier.  Nothing new there.

Yet, there is still this tiny bit of hope peeking through, as I enter this part of the cycle.  Cursed hope!

My beaten-up midsection would like to provide for you another State of the Union Report in captioned photos.
Circles where Ian will stab me nightly for at least 2+ weeks in my fleshy back bits.

Four estrogen patches and the sticky remnants and small cuts from countless that came before.  Nothing gets them off that doesn't also remove layers of my skin.  At least I have only had one bleeder with my Lupron shots, weeks ago, so no bruising!  

Anyhow, I've  been doing some Health Month over the last 2 months or so, and will continue through December, in order to just feel like I'm doing everything I can to feel good and create a welcoming body for an embryo/zygote/fetus/baby etc.  I just want to, when this is done, feel like I did what I could.  And I'd also like, when it is over, either outcome, to be in a better place to move forward than I've been for awhile re: my body.  So, to that end, I've mostly given up coffee and alcohol with a limit to one of each per week, and I don't always have the 1 coffee.  I always have the one boozeahol!  I've also limited my meat intake quite a bit.  I've started running again and am training for my first ever 5k.  I started piano lessons.   I haven't lost a single pound.  

I've gained 20 over the course of the past 2 years of these treatments.  I can't blame them entirely, but the combination of hormones, depression, lack of control over my body and what I can put in it, the fear of changing my eating in ways that might impact success rates, the amount of just sick or out of it that I feel, the inability to exercise through certain points of each cycle etc have all certainly contributed.   I just want to feel healthy and right in my skin again.  It's not the pounds that bother me as much as the general blah feeling and the sense that these pounds are essentially "pregnancy weight" for a pregnancy that hasn't existed.  It is not super pleasant to live in a body that is a constant reminder of what I want and what I do not get to have.

Anyhow, I also went to my regular doctor and got a new prescription for my anti-depressants and my migraine medicine and discussed birth control options.  The migraine meds and anti-depressants have been filled and are sitting on my bathroom sink, so I have them right away if this cycle fails.  The birth control will be called in for me when I email my doctor.  It feels good to be that secure about what I'm doing.  I look at those pills and feel amazing about being able to take back control of my body after this.  Obviously, if I get pregnant, I won't take them.  That will be the best possible outcome!  If I don't, though, I'm ready to move onward with my life.  


  1. Hello! This is Janet's friend in Hong Kong, Zerlina. I can totally relate to your blog. Am doing ivf this cycle, took 9 eggs out only 2 embryos good for today's transfer. Am supposed to test on boxing day. My RE gave me tons of meds for this two weeks. Anyway, I wish u all the best and hope u get the best birthday and Christmas present u and your husband hope for. Lots of positive energy!

    1. Hi, Zerlina. So nice to meet you. Janet is wonderful, and any friend of hers is most definitely a friend of mine. I hope your transfer went well and ends with success!! Positive energy right back at you! <3

  2. Sharon just stopping by because I knew this was the big week for you. Your med sheet looks like a football play plan- I'm rooting for you (and them!) My one wish for you is that you can hold onto your optimism for a few more weeks! Kind of like you said about doing all you can and knowing you did. I know it sounds silly but my one regret was not being excited for our last round of IUI. I know in my intellectual brain it didn't matter because IUI probably never would have worked however my emotional brain still kicks myself sometimes. I know I wanted it over and wasn't optimistic in large part as a coping mechanism but I wish I could have been excited.

    Just know that no matter what you are going to be an amazing Mom. Your baby will know that s/he was wanted and waited for no matter the path that takes you to them.

    Sending hugs and good vibrations!

  3. Hoping all went awesomely this week. "I just want to feel healthy and right in my skin again." <------ I wish this and so much more for you. Here's to 2014 allowing you to move forward and bring happiness and more family into your life, however that happens.

  4. Thinking of you guys all the time, lately. Just wanting to send you huge hugs.

  5. Hey Sharon!

    It is amazing reading your journey. I have had 3 chemical/early miscarriages over the last three years and we finally decided to give IVF a shot. I did not have a fresh transfer but finally managed to transfer 2 embroyes in a FET cycle this month. I am 5dp3dt today and actually found your blog googling for it.
    I do a beta on Sunday 22nd as well so will def think or u too when I do that. It is truly inspiring to read your story but I wish you never had to go through any of this at all. I hope everything works out for you one way or the other.