More drugs to ‘fix’ things

We’re going to change my antidepressant.  I knew it weeks ago (in fact, I probably mentioned it in some long, wordy blog post) but what I was on was just not working.  Well, now the overpriced psychiatrist finally agrees with me.  So we’ll try a new pill.

I should be delivering a beautiful baby girl in 3 weeks and a new pill is supposed to make it better that I won’t ever get to hold her?  It’ll make it better that she was scraped out of me on Mother’s Day at 16 weeks gestation instead of me laboring with her and hearing that first cry.  Some pill is going to make me not hate my body and hate myself every day for the rest of my life?  Doubtful.

The psychiatrist asked about my daily schedule and how I function.  I don’t.  All I do is take care of Sweetie.  That’s all I have the strength for and many days I barely have that.  We were supposed to go to all these fun classes together this fall- half the time we don’t go because I just can’t face other people and every class but one we signed up for has a pregnant woman or a woman that brings her little infant and her toddler.  Some days we get in the car and drive to a park and we turn around and go home if I see other people there-  other mothers with multiple children, other mothers who are pregnant.  I just can’t do it.  It’s just another way that I’m ruining her life- not only does my body kill her siblings, my f*cked up mental state is taking her away from playdates, classes and library storyhours.

Sweetie is too beautiful and sweet and lovable.  She’s all I live for and I don’t think that’s good for her anymore.   Every moment I look at her I know that having me as a mother is going to mess her up.  I’m just too far gone.  I look at potentially having a surrogate carry another baby for us and I don’t even know why I think I deserve that, why I should have more children when I know what I’m like inside now?  Broken.  Shattered.  Beyond fixing.

Advertisements

How to be a friend?

Every infertile or RPL woman has to go through the pain of being surrounded by pregnant women.  Sometimes it’s close friends, sometimes family members, and other times it’s just those random women you run into when you least expect it.

I’m fortunate that I have very few family members in general and the ones who are childbearing age I can just avoid when I’m not on Facebook.  I don’t have that sister or sister-in-law being pregnant in my face and expecting me to throw her baby showers to worry about, which I imagine is particularly difficult.

But I have several friends right now who are pregnant- 3 in particular that I care about still having a relationship with.  They have all told me via text or email, thankfully not in person.  But now I’m struck with wondering what to do to keep that friendship going.

I don’t want to be around pregnant women.  At all.  I can’t trust myself or my emotions- half the time I see them and feel this scary, intense hatred (usually strangers) and the other half of the time I just bust into tears and am reminded how much I hate my life and stupid body.  When I take Sweetie places that I know we’ll be seeing pregnant women, I totally focus on her.  I try to pretend that Sweetie and I are the only people in the room.  That’s not really conducive to going out for coffee with a pregnant friend or having her over for a playdate.

It’s hard because I still love these 3 women as people.  I don’t wish them bad things.  I know that there wasn’t some grand lottery where their babies get to live whereas mine get to die.  I do wish sometimes that they could understand better what I have been through-  I don’t get how in my entire pool of mommy friends that I only know of two who have had miscarriages before going on to have 2 and three kids (oh and the one who always makes a big deal about her chemical pregnancy before she had back-to-back-to-back children one each 12 months- um, don’t think you get it at all).

So I care, but I don’t want to look at them.  I don’t want to attend their baby showers or hear about their perfect OB appointments or be their shoulder to cry on about weight gain or being tired because of pregnancy.

I can’t stand it when I mentally compare myself to them sometimes-  Are they a better mom than I am?  Do they deserve this more than I do?  Why do they get to have 2, 3, 4 healthy babies AND a living mother who is their best friend AND nothing else bad that happens?  Why doesn’t any of this get spread around?

I look at their children and wonder- why do they deserve to have siblings and my Sweetie doesn’t?  Are they going to be more well-rounded than my Sweetie because they grow up with other siblings close in age?

I know, there’s no point in comparing or trying to understand.  But it really does impact relationships and I can’t imagine that ignoring that helps.

So I’m really confused as to how I’m supposed to be a friend anymore.  As if I didn’t need any more ways to feel bad, I feel bad because I don’t even consider myself a good friend anymore.  My mom always said that to have good friends you have to be a good friend.  I have felt so alone and surrounded by ‘bad’ friends because people don’t want to hear about my grief or losses.  But then I look in the mirror and know that I don’t want to hear about their pregnancies or happy family building escapades so I guess it goes both ways.

So what do I do?  What do you do if you’ve faced this?  Do I just tell these friends that I care about them but I don’t want to physically see them until after they have their babies?  I don’t see how that’s going to work well, because who knows how I’ll feel about their newborns (although, pregnant women seem far more difficult for me to see than babies-  but baby girls are still awfully hard).  Do I try to change our relationship to a phone one?  But then it’s not really fair to ask them to never mention pregnancy because I have found that often pregnant women end up feeling like their lives are consumed with the pregnancy and that’s all they can talk and think about.  Or is it fair to ask that?  Will any of this get better if my surrogate gets pregnant soon and I know I have a baby coming half a year or so after theirs is born?

I just feel like I’m destined to have no friends because I cannot be a good friend.  Just another thing Recurrent Pregnancy Loss has stolen from my life and another thing to feel like a giant jerk about.

Little steps and no gut instinct

So we finally talked to our first surrogate candidate.  She was very nice.  But…  I don’t know.  I have never interviewed surrogates before and it feels very odd to choose this person who is going to fill this massive role in your life based on a 2 hour phone call.  But I am getting absolutely no gut instinct on this.  I think my gut instinct is feeling so damaged after all the recent shi**y decision making that I am just out of touch with myself.  And the bad part is that I want SO BADLY to be moving forward that I think I would pretty much let the Devil carry my baby if we could transfer soon.

For those of you who don’t know the process of matching with a surrogate, here’s a brief summary:  We are using a (crappy, I hate them now) Agency to match us with potential surrogates.  We have filled out an Intended Parents (IP) profile and the surrogates all fill out their own version.  The profile feels very much like internet dating as does the initial phone call.  The Agency notified us they thought they had a potential candidate and we reviewed her profile.  We said we thought initially that things would work so then we get together on a three-way phone call with our carrier, my husband and I and the Agency rep.  Kinda awkward.  Then you try to make small talk until you can get around to asking more details which are far more personal than anything else you have ever asked a stranger over the phone!  At the same time, you really, really want this person to like you back, so you feel the need to be cautious and likable.

We don’t have a ton of criteria when it comes to a surrogate-  I have heard of IPs demanding their surrogate eat all organic or vegan or not have a single gram of caffeine for 10 months.  We are not in that camp.  We want someone healthy and trustworthy.

So do I think this person will be that?  Yes.  But I am still feeling no peace of mind in saying yes, she should carry our baby.  And the only horrible thing about saying ‘no’ to her at the moment is just the amount of time we will have to wait until another candidate is identified.  It’s taken us this long to see one profile, when supposedly our agency had dozens available (insert eye roll at Agency’s blatant lies), do we really want to turn her down and wait another 3-4 months?  So you really feel like if you don’t say ‘yes’, you are screwed.  But if my gut doesn’t say ‘yes’ about her, aren’t we screwed that way too?  What do you do when you don’t trust your gut anymore?  Or when you have suppressed it so much that you can’t even feel it?

 

So on other lovely life and uterus news, I am going to pretty much have to have surgery.  I am yet again without a period since that disastrous hysteroscopy.  Lots of cramping, lots of pain.  Too many different hormones to try to kick-start a period again.  Thank you all for your thoughts on my drastic action against my uterus- I need to look for another OB who could potentially operate.  I am actually at that lovely time of the year where I’ve paid out so much in medical bills (once again, I’m floored that it’s far more expensive to have a dead baby at 16w than to have a live baby at 39w at my hospital) that it would make far more sense to try to have a free surgery before next year resets our out of pocket maximums.  We’ll see what I can accomplish.  If nothing else, I need them to remove the scar tissue so I can get a cycle and stop this endless cramping.

 

 

 

It’s my body, right?

I called and talked with my OB last week.  I had my RE send her the copy of his report detailing the scar tissue that has now taken over my uterus.  We aren’t currently seeing eye-to-eye on what’s next for me and my body.

What decisions are we allowed to make about our bodies and how do doctors figure out how to ‘do no harm’?  I remember one Grey’s Anatomy episode where a guy hates his foot and he wants the doctors to remove it.  The doctors say that it’s a perfectly healthy foot, so they refuse him.  The guy borrows a chain saw and cuts it off himself so that they are forced to listen to him.

Ok, it’s extreme (and you may be able to convince me that not everything that happened on Grey’s is realistic :)), but I really feel that way about my uterus right now.  I want it gone.  I have had too many babies die in my uterus, too much pain caused by that organ, and I just want it gone.

Is this such a leap to take?  (warning- TMI)  If I don’t do anything, the Asherman’s may significantly affect my cycle, I was already struggling with not having any cycle almost 10 weeks post D&C.   It’s possible the scar tissue holds in the lining that you should shed each month and that can cause endometriosis (or make endometriosis worse in my case since I already have it).  Before these last miscarriages, I had heavy cycles and pain.  I was told it would be at least 2 surgeries to try to remove scar tissue and prevent it from returning- on top of months of estrogen therapy (which isn’t good given the endometriosis and family history of cancer).  Really, how much more do I have to try to work through with this?

If I don’t do anything, I also worry that I will get pregnant again when I don’t intend to do so.  I have gotten pregnant so easily in the past that I don’t trust going without birth control.  Between my unknown cause of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss and the scar tissue that’s clouding my uterine cavity, it’s probably almost a 99% chance I would miscarry.  I don’t want to leave that as an option.  I can’t move on and try to accept my life if that’s still a possibility to miscarry again.  The only reason I can accept never getting pregnant again as ‘ok’ is because it brings the benefit of never miscarrying again.

So I just want a hysterectomy.  I feel like that will give me closure.  I will know with certainty that I can never get pregnant again nor can I miscarry again.  We are already walking the journey of surrogacy.  I just feel like I will be able to heal better mentally and emotionally.  I wouldn’t have to have my ovaries removed, so there wouldn’t be the hormonal effects.

So, when I even broach the topic of preventing pregnancy with my OB, she said would not even consent to tying my tubes yet.  That kind of blew me away.  I know that a hysterectomy is a drastic move, but she won’t even consent to tying my tubes?  She reminded me that I only have one child (um, thanks, like I don’t think about this 2,000 times a day) and I’m still ‘young’.  Ok, I’m getting extremely close to advanced maternal age, so I hardly put myself in the category of young.

So when do I get some choice over what happens in my body?  The really f’ed up thing is that my husband could go into a clinic and schedule a vasectomy tomorrow with great ease.  And I could choose to have multiple surgeries on my uterus if I wanted to remove scar tissue, but I’m not allowed to have surgery to remove it?  Or to make a step in the direction of never getting pregnant again?  I don’t want birth control or an IUD, I hate the hormones and weight gain and I just want to start letting my body heal and move into a new chapter.

I know, most women who have to have a hysterectomy didn’t want one and they had no choice in the matter, so I’m a very odd duck.  Are there lots of people out there who wanted hysterectomies and then regretted them horribly later?  Were they removing a very broken uterus or a functioning one?  Anyone with thoughts on this to help me out?   I don’t know what my next move on this should be- I guess a consult with a different OB/surgeon will have to be next.  And it’s not like I want to do this tomorrow as a knee-jerk reaction or because I’m depressed or not grieving well or whatever.  But I feel like waiting a year or so should be more than enough to say this is not just a quick, bad decision and that at the very least my OB should tie my tubes even if she won’t remove the scarred coffin inside my abdomen.

Can I just quit?

So I’m still just reeling from my news and it’s almost been 2 weeks now.

I’m still trying to figure out how when the worst possible thing you can imagine happens and then you find out later it just gets worse.

I’ve tried to pick myself up and keep moving.

I’ve spent many hours pounding my punching bag.

I’ve consumed more alcohol than I thought I would ever consume.

I’ve spent hours reading medical journals and literature about Asherman’s and surgery and how with my history of RPL, it’s just not worth wasting embryos on my uterus ever again even IF I found an expert to attempt to remove the scar tissue.

I’ve had moments where I felt relieved that I will never be pregnant again.  I’m strangely comforted by knowing my body/uterus will never be responsible for killing another baby.

I’ve put the only energy I have left into furthering our surrogacy plans.  Because that’s all I have now.

I’ve found myself resenting the fact that I have the most wonderful living daughter because if I didn’t have her, I wouldn’t have to keep going.  And then I hate myself because that makes me a pretty shitty mother to even wish for a second that I didn’t have the responsibility of my daughter when she’s all I have and the only baby I’ll ever have carried.  I just want to quit.

No more decisions to make

Decisions that sometimes seem agonizing in the moment become even more so when they are taken away.

I had been torturing myself trying to figure out if we should try a FET, when we should try a FET, if we should transfer one or two, etc.

Well, that decision was taken away from me this morning.

I had a hysteroscopy to look at my uterus and I have developed significant adhesions/scar tissue (Asherman’s Syndrome).   My RE said he could attempt to operate and ‘fix my uterus up a bit’, but that given my history it would be against his better judgment and he’s ‘happy for me’ that we are attempting surrogacy.

Just like that, I’m done.  I’ll never get pregnant again.  I’ll never even have the potential to carry a baby to term.  I won’t get the chance to beat this RPL.  And worse yet, it’s 100% the cause of MY bad decision I made in the hours after I found out my sweet Abby was dead.  I didn’t think I could bear to be induced, so I chose the D&C that did this to me.  The OB said she was using ultrasound and would be extremely cautious given my history.  Guess that didn’t help.

At least when my miscarriages happened, I never felt like they were (really) my fault.  I knew I had done everything I knew how at the time to be taking care of my baby.  And now I’m hit in the gut with this diagnosis and it’s 100% my fault.  I don’t even know what more to say.  I guess that’s what happens when you ask ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’.   It just gets worse.

Messed up body

So….I still haven’t started a period and tomorrow marks 7 weeks since the D&C.  Seriously?  It’s bad enough that my body can’t keep a pregnancy going.  Can’t my body at least get back to ‘normal’ a little quicker?  Before we ever started trying to have a baby, I used to be so regular.  I don’t think I appreciated that as much then as I should have.

I never had a positive body image growing up.  I have always been overweight and it just wasn’t a priority to exercise.  I like my chocolate and ice cream and cheese pizza far too much.  Food is a big time comfort for me.   So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m about 65 pounds heavier now after 7 pregnancies (1 baby) than I was when I started trying to conceive.  I’ve managed to avoid any major depression (till now after miscarriage #6), but the depression eating has so massively packed on the pounds.  That and two IVF cycles and many many more cycles while on progesterone, steroids and other fun medications that make you hungry and bloated.  Oh, and I wasn’t supposed to exercise at all during the last two pregnancies (per Expert #2) because exercise could increase inflammation.  I want to wear a shirt around explaining this so maybe people would understand rather than just see me as a disgustingly fat person.

If only it were that easy to just tell people where you’re coming from.