Go Away Big Green Monster

Monster

I have managed to be okay over the last two months. Today was one of the few days when feelings of sadness and envy brewed into threatening tears. Amidst all the glowing faces and growing bellies (and not the binge-y kind like the one I have now shamefully developed) in my workplace, I overheard one of my coworker’s happy pregnancy announcement, which was promptly met with cheers and celebration. Tiny little needles pierced each cell in my heart. As I stood up and felt the oh-so-familiar trickling sensation of the beginning of yet another period, I could not wait to get the hell outta that room. Thankfully I was almost off.

I refused to give in to tears. I breathed…in…..and…..out…..in…..and…..out…Just like what my therapist taught me. Yes, I am sad. Yes, I am jealous. I am feeling those feelings. In…..and….out….And I let it go. Go away big green monster.

A month ago, I had my third surgical hysteroscopy. This time, surprisingly, I didn’t experience the crippling anxiety and fear beforehand. I guess I was now in a position of being able to accept the fact that I may not be able to bear a baby within my own womb.

Well, the surgery went well as far as I know. My hemoglobin level managed to hold so I did not need a blood transfusion and did not need to stay in the hospital longer than one night. And as far as me and my family doctor could tell from the operative report, my OB-GYN had removed as much as he could of the fibroids within my uterus. I will not be able to see him for another 3 weeks so I don’t quite know his thoughts on my fertility yet.

I had been putting off contacting the fertility clinic. The doctor there had asked me to call her once there was a surgery date. I had figured, what’s the point? I probably won’t be getting pregnant anyway. And S and I had casually been talking about the possibility of maybe doing IVF in the Czech Republic since it was significantly cheaper than in Canada.

Anyway, I did end up calling her post-surgery. I told her it had gone smoothly and she asked me if I was ready to go ahead. I told her that I would prefer to start with IUI if possible. Oh and by the way, my boyfriend has now decided to become involved…I give her credit for barely flinching at this sudden change of plans.

So now I am supposed to get a SHG next month and then go meet with them at the clinic at the end of September. In the meantime, S will need to get all the appropriate tests done.

Since the surgery, I have been feeling great physically, which likely has helped me feel pretty good emotionally as well. So far my hemoglobin levels seem to be stable and at the highest that I am able to maintain with my thalassemia. I have been able to get 7 or 8, instead of 11, hours of sleep at night and feel alert in the morning. I have color in my face and my lips are a nice red color. I was impressed with how thick and dark my blood in the tubes were when I had my blood drawn yesterday.

S and I went on a romantic weekend get-away to the mountains earlier in the week and I even managed a 3 hour hike and a morning trail ride on horseback. Even had a steamy quickie on the moss and pine needles of the forest floor ūüėÄ

Things with S have been pretty amazing over the past while. He hasn’t had too many depressive episodes lately. And neither have I. As we had been brilliantly advised, we are both trying not to go into the past or into the future and to just enjoy each moment and each day as it comes. This has really helped me curb my anxiety about the future.

Trying my best not to think about babies, pregnancy, fibroids, infertility (which is I suppose why I have distanced myself from this blog and other related blogs as of late) has given me the space to get out there and mindfully embrace the moments of each day. And with all this in the background for the first time in the longest time, I am reveling in simply being in love.

Until next time,

M

Dear Kindred Spirits

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To my sisters in the online infertility community…

I read about your struggles, your joys, each step along the way in trying to bring forth a life you already deeply love even before it materializes into flesh and blood. We are bonded by this indescribable desire for a baby and we somehow manage to face these incredible challenges with the insurmountable strength, will and courage of a superhero(ine).

I admire each and every one of you, and I feel so grateful that there is such a supportive online community of ladies who have the dream of motherhood ever-present in their hearts.

Since my HSG test a couple of days ago when I found out that there is a problem with one of my fallopian tubes (hopefully just one…) and that this is yet another hurdle I will have to face, along with the¬†innumerable amount of fibroids and polyps I have; my spirits have been shot. I feel numb; like a zombie going through the motions of everyday life. It’s been a beautiful start to Spring here and I feel like I should be reveling in the sunshine, breathing in the much warmer air, and looking forward to finally packing away my boots and winter gear and doing all of the wonderful outdoor activities we only have 6 months of the year (sometimes less!) to enjoy.

I did go online and found some success stories of women who have been able to deliver healthy babies even though they only had one working tube and fibroids/polyps. This definitely did make me feel a little better and I no longer felt like the world was crashing down on me like I did on Tuesday.

But the anxiety of seeing my doctor next Tuesday to find out the final results of the HSG test and whether or not IUI is off the table now with IVF being the only option left, has me on edge. If this is the case, my brief journey may then be over. I looked up the costs (our provincial healthcare as well as my work insurance does not cover anything fertility related) and for one cycle of IVF, it will be at least triple the amount I had planned for a couple cycles of IUI. I am limited in finances as a preschool teacher since my fibroids condition and thalassemia prevents me from being able to work full-time. I had tried to apply for a loan last year for some major emergency dental work (damn rollerblading accident years ago!) and they rejected me since I wasn’t making enough income. So I know that won’t be an option unless I maybe try another bank…The only other possibility that has entered my mind is maybe selling my beloved little loft and moving in with my mom…She is great but of course this is not ideal after being accustomed¬†to living on my own for what feels like eternity.

Facing this possible fork in the road, I am struggling these days.

I am surrounded by pregnant teachers all around me at work and my best friend is due with her first in the next little while. I have been avoiding contacting another friend who gave birth recently. Yes, I do feel guilty about that. My baby niece and her parents will be in town this weekend and I will be babysitting her for the very first time. Originally, I was over the moon excited about it but now I admit that I am dreading it. I know, it’s selfish. Must stifle this green-eyed monster. Unfortunately, (or rather, fortunately I suppose) I do not have any family or friends (that I know of anyway) who have or had any fertility issues so I feel really alone in that regard. I know that if I really wanted to talk to some of them, I could; but how can someone understand when they don’t face infertility themselves? I tried to look up to see if there are any local infertility meet-ups but so far, I have been unsuccessful. There must be though and I will continue looking. Although these last couple of days, with the exception of¬†S, I have isolated myself from everyone and have absolutely no desire to converse with anyone.

I know that I am a bit more short at work with people, shameful to say, that this includes the little ones. Good thing the weekend is coming up. I will also admit (so much easier to type it rather than to say it out loud to someone) that my relatively clean and healthy diet has been straight out the window and has been replaced with ranch chips, pizza, cookies and cream chocolate and vanilla wafers. I know I will need to stop this self-pity and emerge from this saturated fat, black hole at some point soon. I know that doing some meditation, yoga or Buddhist reading would probably help my emotions but it is just one of those times that I just cannot muster the strength or motivation to do it. I am glad that the antidepressants are preventing me from falling down too far and I have been trying to book an appointment with my therapist for next week. I am aware of all the resources and ways to help raise my spirits again. I just wish I could somehow reach deep inside my soul and find that yearning again soon to give me enough strength and guidance to keep me standing in this battle.

After tirelessly crusading against the inevitable treatment of these inoperable fibroids being a hysterectomy, and suffering from the constant bloodshed and literally having my life drain away for the last 9 years or so, I don’t know how much longer I can stick it out for.

Maybe fate is telling me I can put off the hysterectomy no longer.

If I am somehow miraculously able to conceive, it will be another battle in itself to keep that pregnancy. I see how many of you out there face pregnancy loss after pregnancy loss, over and over again and I don’t know if I am strong enough to be like you.

I have lived through an abusive childhood, depression and being suicidal, losing all my hair to Alopecia, a couple of cancer scares, going about each day with a hemoglobin level averaging around 80, major financial debt, heartbreaks from men all along the way, and the presence of a real-life Mommie Dearest in my relationship with S.

And yet I feel like this is what is finally going to break me.

To my fellow sisters alongside me on this long-winding road – How do you do it? How do you manage to always pick yourself up after each and every setback and keep staying hopeful??

M

 

First Step

Sand FootstepIt was official. I have taken the leap and told my OB-GYN that I would like to attempt pregnancy on my own. A felt like a huge weight was lifted after I told him. I guess I had expected the usual disappointment and looks of pity I have been receiving from family members and some friends after I shared my recent plan with them but my doctor was extremely supportive and gave me reassurance that I was doing the right thing. Over several years of seeing him, this was one of the most positive appointments I have had.

Being the wonderful and efficient doctor he is, he went right into discussing the different alternatives and worked out a plan with me. It seems to be a bit of kismet that a new local fertility clinic will be opening up soon and a referral was to be made there to have IUI done. He assured me that he knew the people there well and how great they were. I should be hearing from them sometime over the next month to start off with a telephone consultation.

A tiny seed of excitement has now been planted.

M