Wednesday, March 2, 2016

No, I haven't given up on you!

Dear Baby,

even though I took a four months long break from writing to you, I never took one moment to not think about you!

I wanted to update a million times! I have just never gotten around to doing it.

Since November we had two more transfers. Not with blasts but with 6 grade A and B embryos! None implanted! Not even a chemical... Nothing.

Now I am sitting here not knowing what to do. Should we stick with a clinic that messed up thawing our embabies for the second transfer so that we ended up not doing two blast transfers but three in total with two of them only three day transfers. Or should we switch clinics and pay three times the amount we are paying right now? Do they work better for their money? Will they try to find out why it's not working and make me pregnant? Or is there really no reason and we simply need to wait?

The question that pops up in my mind every time I ask myself the above question is: How much longer do I need to wait when apparently Mr. B and I are both healthy? And why do all of our friends become pregnant in their second month despite having medical issues?

I started seeing a psychologist. I think she helps me clear my thoughts and deal with all the pregnancies around me. Even today I had a friend telling me she is 19 weeks pregnant after an "accident". I am kind of okay with the news because I really like her and she never had it easy in life. My psychologist helped me to find out that I have more trouble with girls I don't really like anyways.

One of them is Ch. She is married to a friend of Mr. B. She got pregnant right away although she has hashimoto's. Untreated hashimoto's. We were supposed to spend NYE together but after I got the news the night before, I just couldn't get around to going there.

I envy her. Not the life she has, only the fact that she is pregnant! That she gets to go to work until she reaches a certain date and then she will be off for quite a while. I envy her because she is the most superficial person I know and in my eyes she doesn't deserve being a mom. She doesn't deserve such a great gift when all she cares about is how she looks and I would be the the best mom possible. I envy her because she can have all the excitement that comes with a pregnancy: feeling the baby move, feeling connected right from the start, finding out the gender...

And sometimes I feel like superwoman! I know that I am a deep person. A person who cares about others, has wonderful friends who are my friends because of me and who are by my side no matter what. I know that I am one of the strongest women there is. I have to be because strong is the only option and one day I will be strong for my baby. I am so sure I will be a mom soon and that baby #2 and #3 will come easily. I mean, I have to become a mom one day. It would be a waste of my warmth and love if I didn't have children to give it all to!

But then all of this super power disappears to a place pretty far away and I am so scared that I will be left with no children. Leading a sad and lonely life! Right now the super power has disappeared to this place and I am listening to sad songs to make me even more sad!

I don't know how much longer I can keep loving you, when you keep being so far away!

xoxo Mommy

Monday, November 9, 2015

7dp5dt - Heartbroken

Dear Baby,

I feel like you are as far away from me as ever. Last Monday I had my 5 day transfer. I felt great about this cycle. How could I not after everything I have done for this cycle to work?!
On November 2nd the day of the transfer finally arrived. I have waited so long for this day. Since I have been told over and over by my drs that I will definitely have a baby since I am still so young (yeah right, I will be at least 30 when I have my first child and I didn't want to just have one) and nothing has been found that causes my infertility I expected to arrive at the clinic to have two best grade blastocysts transferred back. I haven't been told anything about the quality of the blastocysts. I had to ask only to be told that they reached the blastocyst stage but the cell division could have been better. I still have no idea what that means, I just know that I have been very disappointed since with everything the drs have always told me I expected nothing less than perfect blastocysts.

I stayed home the day of and one day after the transfer. Right after the transfer I felt some mild cramping for about three days. I interpreted that as a good sign since something could be happening that causes the ligaments around the uterus to stretch. My skin has been so terrible and I was hungry all the time. Maybe it has just been a sign of my constant procrastination since I can't work when I eat... Apart from that I didn't really feel anything.

Since fertility treatment takes out all chances of a surprise I wanted to at least surprise daddy by testing every day. The first idea behind doing that was to see when the trigger shot leaves my system to be sure that when I see a second line closer to my blood test I know it is not the trigger but a baby. The second thought was that if I knew before my beta I could plan something really cute to tell your daddy that you are finally on your way. That would have been a lot better than just telling him in a message or on the phone when he is at work asking for the result of the blood test. Also I wanted to know before the blood test to be prepared when the clinic calls with a negative result and I am still at work...

So I have been testing every day since I triggered two weeks ago. And once the second line had completely vanished on day 4 past 5dt it had never appeared again. And by now I am sure that it would return until Wednesday, the day of my beta. I thought that with everything being so smooth this cycle and a test day of 11/11/15 I thought it just had to work. I just hoped that after all these hard steps that now could be my time where I start to be the lucky(ier) one. There are so many women who get pregnant the first time... Why not me? Why does this step have to be full of struggles again? The worst is that, I don't know where the difference in technique between the US and Germany is, but here only 1/3 of the fertilized eggs become blastocysts. So out of my 12 fertilized eggs 6 have already been used to give me the two transferred embryos. We only have one try left before we have to start a whole new IVF cycle again. I don't know if I can do that all over again. I know I will do it but right now I cannot imagine how. But what if that won't be a success either? A third time won't be supported by my health insurance. I know my mind is running in overdrive but I could already see next summer with you here clearly before my eyes. And yet, I have to say goodbye to this idea again...

Bye bye***

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Defrosting day!

Dear baby,

or should I say babies? Today is the day you are taken out of your freezer and get the chance to develop. I have been so nervous this morning that I have not been able to sleep anymore. Every time I think about you I get butterflies in my stomach.

I really really hope we get at least 2 blastozysts out of the six defrosted fertilized eggs. That is the only thing standing between today and our transfer. I am so excited to see you on Monday. I hope to get a picture of you to carry around me and to help me know what you looked like at such a young age. Not every parent gets the chance to see their little baby at this stage. As you can see I learn to see the positive aspects of this journey!

Can't wait to see you Monday! I already love you!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Almost on your way?

Dear Baby,

today I started getting butterflies in my stomach. Why? Because on Friday I had my first US for this cycle. Since the last two cycles had been cancelled and I took clomid, which is always a risk for the uterine lining, I have been really worried that this cycle would be a bust again. I felt more than relieved when the dr said that the lining looked good in structure and thickness. Additionally, I have two perfect looking follicles, which are important for hormone production.
On Monday October 26th I triggered ovulation and tomorrow I am going to start progesterone because on Monday November 2nd I will finally have my transfer. It is more than amazing and exciting to know that I will have two little embryos in my belly in a week. It is the first time in my life that I will be able to say that I am pregnant. That is if everything goes as planned with the further development into blastozysts in the following few days.

I made an appointment for my very first acupuncture ever as well. Two days before and one day after transfer, as well as one week after transfer I will get acupuncture. There are so many more things I am doing with IVF that I didn't do before. So deep down I can't help but almost EXPECT that this is going to bring me YOU. I know it will be a deep fall, if this doesn't work as well. We have one more try with a FET before we have to start with the shots again. I really hope I will be spared of another round since I am still not a needle person. Right now I decided to stay positive. The only aspect bothering me is that transfer will be on the first day of school after the fall break. I hate to call in sick. Especially right after a break.

So here is a list of the things I did/am doing this cycle:

things I have done before as well:

  • thyroid medicine
  • vitamin D
  • folic acid
  • pomegranate juice
  • a multi vitamin

things I did/am doing for the first time:

  • different teas
  • herbs
  • brazil nuts
  • breakfast with lots of seeds and nuts
  • nuts/almonds for snack
  • iron pills
  • acupuncture
  • cardio at least twice a week
  • more meat and fish
  • relaxation exercises

So all in all I am taking more care about my health. Body and mind. I feel really good about all this now. I am confident that you are just around the corner, ready to come home. And when I picture myself during the relaxation exercise I always see one baby in my arms but pushing a twin stroller. Is that you telling me that you are going to bring someone along? I really do hope so but if you decide to be my only gift that is fine as well. All I want is a healthy and happy baby. If you come in a pair you are both more than welcome. 

Only 5 more days (I am not counting the day of transfer) and you might be moving in! Once again, you are welcome to bring a sibling.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Long time no see...still fighting

Dear Baby,

it has been three months since my last post. So much has happened that it is impossible to put into a few words. I wanted to sit down and write to you many many times but then life got in the way. And very often hope. Hope that I would be PUPO and you would finally make your way to us.

But then you have been pulled away from me again two cycles in a row.

Your auntie Christin and uncle Torsten included me a lot in their pregnancy. Since this is my brother and his wife who I both love dearly, that was more than okay. I felt like if I can't experience all this myself, at least I can experience it with and through them. I heard baby Marla's heartbeat and saw her little face in an US. I can genuinely say I am more than happy about her arrival here in September 27th. But seeing her the first two times made my struggle even more real. I have had a few friends who had babies but it never hit so close to home. Since she is my niece, she is also my blood and although it sounds ridiculous, I feel a little like her mommy. Often I tried to find words for what my heart misses and holding Marla I didn't need any words because what would fill the hole in my hard was right there in my arms. It makes the pain I feel even more real.

Then two days ago Rike, the "friend" I had a fall-out with a few months back, had her baby too. You might think I am a mean and cold-hearted person but I have to say that I am not even able to feel a little glimpse of happiness for her. Nothing! I even hoped she would have a long hard labor. She complained for nine months. About everything! I just wanted her to really go through something worth complaining... I don't want to see her and this baby.

Now a few words about our journey to you. After our 4th IUI failed we decided to move forward with IVF. Everything went smoothly until a few days before egg retrieval. well the shots for the down regulation were no fun but somehow I have been able to give all of them myself. Shortly before we started IVF I got a little tattoo. I joined the semicolon project. The semicolon is chosen by the author when s/he could have ended a sentence but decided not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life. It all started as a symbol of hope and encouragement for people who suffer from depression and/or tried to commit suicide. They either wear the semicolon on their wrist or their relatives/friends wear it to support them. I am neither suicidal nor do I suffer from depression but this project spread to anyone who is hurting. and I AM HURTING. Daily, for years now. It is also for everyone who went/is going through a hard time, has anxieties, is sad... So it is for all us TTC sisters. I got the semicolon tattoed on my wrist to remind me at this time my whole life. I choose to be reminded at how strong I am (I have to be, otherwise I would have been broken already), that your daddy and me made it through this, that I have wonderful friends who are with me every step of the way, who send me care packages, listen to me when I cry...just support me. I never want to forget how much I already love you and that I was able to endure things I never thought I could, just to make you real.
Well only a few days before ER my dr said we will cancel the cycle since he fears overstimulation (OHSS). I was devastated! To say the least. We went through the ER and got 16 eggs, out of which 12 fertilized. These fertilized eggs have been frozen immediately. I was a little disappointed since my dr talked about way over 20 eggs before retrieval... Because when we do 5dt there will only remain 4 blastozysts, which means 2 transfers when we have 2 embryos transferred every time. Only two tries!!! And then we have to go through all of this again...

Well, I got my period quickly after ER. I was glad because that meant, we can start prepping for a FET. But then, for the first time ever, the day the fertilized eggs were supposed to be thawed the dr said that my lining is too thin and we have to cancel this cycle again. The way he deals with his patients made me switch drs. I don't even get into the part where the clinic charged us for things they didn't even do and then said all was correct but to not lose me as a patient they would take some of the costs out of the bill...

Now I am waiting for AF to arrive to start a second try of a FET. Today is Friday and I hope CD1 will be Sunday. Three weeks into this cycle we will have our transfer if everything works out this time... I will keep you posted and will add pictures in a few days so it's not a big chunk of text.
I also plan on being more active here again.

Love you,
your mommy***

Monday, July 6, 2015

A thousand years and IUI #3

Dear Baby,

to make it short: IUI was a big fail. AGAIN. I had to test at home since IUI was on a Saturday and they don't do blood tests on Saturday. I had to know if I am pregnant bc of the things planned at the weekend. So I took a home pregnancy test (two actually) and of course: BFN. I cried shortly, went to a bachelorette weekend, got asked the same old questions, got the same stupid tipps, really had to pull myself together to not freak out (since it was the bride giving the stupid tipps), came home Sunday evening, cried some more, listened to a great song which helped me get it all out. Then I picked myself up and started waiting for AF to start our last IUI before we go in vacation at the end of July. After our trip we will move on to IVF. I was hoping to avoid that but deep down I know that IUI #4 will be a BFN as well and IVF is in our future. By now, after 20 months of trying to conceive I am okay with giving myself shots, pain, calling in sick at work for treatment... The only fear I haven't lost in this process yet is the fear of going through all of this and still be left empty handed in the end. I know  we could adopt but my husband would only go that way to do me a favor and I think that is not enough to live with that decision your whole life. Furthermore I don't just want to be a mom. I want to know what it is like to bring life into this world. To hear my baby's heartbeat, feel his kicks inside my belly, have my husband kiss and talk to my belly... I just don't want to miss out on all of this.

Since I am a very emotional person this journey is really really hard for me. I used to keep every pain inside when I was younger but by now I learned that letting it all out and sharing your pain makes it a whole lot easier. Unfortunately I can't sing but listening to music and feeling understood by some songs really helps me to release my tears and consequently feel better. Three songs I really feel connected to are the following:

1. Christina Perri - A thousand years

2. We the Kings - Sad Song (here especially the chorus)

3. Andreas Bourani - Hey!

This last song is in German therefore I will translate the lyrics:

Wenn das Leben grad zu allem schweigt                                   When your life remains silent at the moment          
dir noch eine Antwort schuldig bleibt                                          still owes you an answer
dir nichts andres zuzurufen scheint als Nein                              calls out nothing but "NO" to you
Es geht vorbei                                                                             this will pass

Wenn der Sinn von allem sich nicht zeigt                                  If you can't see a meaning in any of this
sich tarnt bis zur Unkenntlichkeit                                               it even disguises itself until it unrecognizable
wenn etwas hilft mit Sicherheit, dann Zeit                                 if something helps with certainty - it's time
Es geht vorbei, es geht vorbei                                                   this will pass, this will pass

Hey, sei nicht so hart zu dir selbst                                             Hey, don't be so hard on yourself
es ist ok wenn du fällst                                                              it is okay to fall
auch wenn alles zerbricht                                                          even if everything breaks apart
geht es weiter für dich                                                               it will go on for you

Hey, sei nicht so hart zu dir selbst                                           Hey, don't be so hard on yourself
auch wenn dich gar nichts mehr hält                                       even if nothing is holding you anymore
du brauchst nur weiter zu geh'n                                              you just have to keep going
komm nicht auf Scherben zum steh'n                                     don't stop standing on shards

Wenn die Angst dich in die Enge treibt                                   If your fear corners you
es fürs Gegenhalten nicht mehr reicht                                    you can't fight it anymore          (free translation here)
du es einfach grad nicht besser weißt                                    you just don't know any better right now
dann bleib                                                                               then stay
es geht vorbei                                                                         this will pass

Wenn jeder Tag dem andern gleicht                                     If every day looks the same
und ein Feuer der Gewohnheit weicht                                  and usualness replaces the fire
wenn lieben grade kämpfen heißt                                         if loving means fighting right now
dann bleib                                                                             then stay
es geht vorbei, es geht vorbei                                              this will pass, this will pass

These songs really help me to get over the pain (Also: New Day - Celine Dion, I would die for that Kelley Coffey). As does knowing that one you have the result of your current cycle, you can jump right into your next try. Grab your next chance. I started spotting tonight, so tomorrow will be CD 1 of month 21 of TTC. This will be our last shot with IUI. Keep your fingers crossed for July so we don't have to do IVF to receive you.

I would also like to know which songs speak to other future moms!

Love you Baby!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Picking myself up

Dear Baby,

am so sorry I have been absent for so long. I have a big problem with organizing my own work load. As a teacher you need to be at school, when you teach. But all the preparation and correction work needs to be organized in a time frame that suits yourself. The problem is that when I get home I am sooooo tired that I have the feeling I need to rest for quite a while (let's say a few hours). The truth is, I am tired and I need to rest but I am also lazy and can't get started again. I then push my work from day to day until I am super stressed... Enough whining but that is part of the reason I didn't write on a regular basis.

Back to you... Well IUI#2 was a bust again. I was in the city when I got the call from the fertility clinic. It's kind of funny how you can tell right away what the result will be. Still, it hurt. I tried to pull myself together since I was in the city and didn't want to have a meltdown right there, but some tears I couldn't hold back. Another "funny" thing is that once you started taking actions you overcome the disappointment a lot faster. On the one hand that makes no sense because when you are treated at the fertility clinic your hopes are a lot higher because your chances to conceive are finally better than before. And when your hope are up the disappointment hurts more. In my case however, it makes total sense that I get over the disappointment faster. I believe that I am not the only one feeling like that. Yes sure you are devastated when you get another BFN but at the same time that means your next chance is just around the corner. You stop taking progesterone - wait for your period to come - then call the clinic - schedule the next US appointment - time flies until that appointment - IUI is scheduled - IUI is done - and then comes the hardest part: the TWW! But even that is a lot easier at the moment. There are only five more weeks of school until summer break and a million things left to do that keep my mind from wandering to you.

Right now I am 2dpiui #3. This time a different dr did the IUI since it was a Saturday and not all drs were in. My regular dr took a little bit more time but I guess every dr does it differently. Today I started taking progesterone again. Since my levels were great the last two cycles I don't need to get it checked in a week. The nurses there are really really bad a drawing blood, therefore I am soooo glad they spare me this time. The pregnancy test will be on 16dpiui since 14dpiui (when they usually do the test) is a Saturday. They don't like to do it earlier, they rather move to a later date. The only thing is that I have a friend's bachelorette weekend on 14 and 15dpiui and I would like to know before that. I mean if I get a BFP then it is clear what to do but if I get a BFN I would love to dring my frustration away at that weekend but I know myself... I keep hoping for a different result on the following Monday. Therefore I strongly hope I either get a BFP or FEEL different/pregnant.

When this IUI doesn't work out, we will try one more round right before our summer holidays. On the same day of IUI #4 we will also fill out a therapy plan for IVF so that the insurance can check and approve our plans while we are gone and when we get back and the next cycle starts we will do IVF.

I have been scared to do this for a long time but after giving myself the trigger shots three times made me confident that I can do IVF as well. I start seeing positive aspects of this journey although I still feel like I am being punished for something sometimes.
I would like to list a few positive things:

  1. I already know what a mother's love for her baby is like. I get to enjoy this love long before you are even on your way. This love will be so strong once you get here that nothing can break it.
  2. I get to see you even before many other moms see their baby. I either get to see the egg cell that made you or if we have to go with IVF the blastocyst. 
  3. I know that I will never complain about any pain or discomfort during pregnancy. I will never complain about being tired, have a messy house or dirty clothes... EVER!
  4. I never doubt if I am really ready for such a big change. I had enough time to prepare myself.
  5. I overcame and am overcoming fears: I am a lot better at getting my blood drawn. I am even able to give myself shots now. Well, they have tiny needles but still! 
  6. We get to enjoy our wonderful apartment a bit longer. We could stay here for the first year with a baby but not a lot longer and we loooooove this apartment!
  7. You learn who your true friends are. They are not the ones who give you stupid tipps. They are just there to listen when all you do is cry into their phone.

I bet I can come up with more good things. That's it for now. Let's see where this journey takes us this summer.

To finish, two recent pics. I gave myself the trigger shot at school, so semi-public... NOT a good feeling. And right after IUI #3.