Monday, December 23, 2013

Where do I start?

I wish I could say that I came to Denver and they looked at my uterus and saw a magic fix. I wish a lot of things.

I wish that maybe we hadn't waited until I was 34 to get married and start trying for a family

I wish that I had never had a D&C in August, especially since the pregnancy wasn't in my uterus.

I wish I had never gotten pregnant this summer. It's only caused more and more heartache and loss.

That's an awful thing to say, isn't it? But I feel like now that one time miracle, has taken away the chance of me ever carrying a child.

CCRM was great. As they were last time I was here, the doctor was very thorough with my hysteroscopy. The one in June was quick and fairly painless. The one today took longer and hurt quite a bit more. All I could think during, was I just wanted him to see everything he needed in order to figure all of this out, I would have gone through any amount of pain at that point.

The first problem was my cervix. It was basically sealed shut with scar tissue. So his belief is that the SIS my ObGYN did never made it into my uterus. He was able to finally break through and get his scope where he needed it.

The next problem was the scar tissue at the top of my uterus. It was NOT adhered shut as my ObGYN believed. This was the good news.

The last problem was my endometrial glands (basal layer) were damaged, most likely during my August D&C. These glands are basically what help make our lining nice and pink and cushy.

The plan is surgery. (I already knew this, right?) I head back out to Denver (okay, actually I haven't left yet, I'm sitting at the airport with a 3 hour delay--scratch that…it has taken me 3 days to finish this post) for surgery on January 10th. They will remove all the scar tissue and place a balloon in my uterus to keep it from collapsing. After a week, this will be removed and I will begin estrogen therapy for 2 months. After that, I will then do a mock cycle to again, attempt to grow my lining.

The tricky part is the glands. It's not something that can be fixed. We are just basically hoping with everything we've got that with the removal of the scar tissue, that the glands will start "working" again. If the first mock cycle doesn't work, we will do one more mock. If that doesn't work….

Game over.

My only option will be a gestational carrier.

It was crystal clear how much my doctor did not want to tell me this news. He apologized over and over again. He showed me the hysteroscopy film from June, when everything looked great. It was a far cry from where it was today. I understand now, that he just didn't anticipate that much damage from August to now. I'm glad I pushed, but in the end, finding out a month ago wouldn't have changed the outcome. I wish I hadn't had to force his hand, but that's something that I have to put behind me and focus on making this work.

On to what made my trip to Denver extra special. Meeting Nicki for the first time was truly a gift. I can never repay her enough or even comprehend how happy it makes my heart that she would, on a moments notice, book a flight to sit with someone she had never met before at a doctors office. Okay, I'll admit it, we also sat at a wine bar talking, laughing and crying for hours. She's simply amazing and my life is better to have her in it. Thanks N, you are the BEST!

All of your comments recently really meant a lot to me. I've never felt so loved and supported in my life. To know how passionate some of you felt regarding my care really warmed my heart in a way I can't even describe. I may not have responded to each and every comment, but please know what every one meant to me.

Finally, I just want to tell all of my wonderful friends that are reading this blog that I truly wish you all have very Merry Christmas. Whether you're still struggling and waiting for your miracle, or you are dealing with a loss and trying to start again, or if you've finally after years of trying, finally had your dreams come true…I'm thinking of all of you this holiday season.

Much love,


Tuesday, December 10, 2013 is ON

My next several days are going to be crazy, so I want to give a quick update.

CCRM received the report from the sonohystogram this morning and they called me immediately. First they called and wanted the reports from my D&C. I offered these back in October and was told it wasn't necessary. Within an hour, they requested that I come to Denver for an office hysteroscopy. This was all VERY speedy for CCRM. Usually I hear from them at the very end of the day. I wish I hadn't had to force their hand with all of this, but at this point, that's neither here nor there.

While part of me would prefer to go right to the operative hysteroscopy, I do understand that Dr. G wants to see what's what in there to confirm the sonohystogram. I get it. With traveling to LA on Thursday - Sunday and to Kansas City for the week of Christmas, I was hoping they would squeeze me in next week.

They did. I'm booked for my hysteroscopy next Friday (December 20th). Talk about a crazy few weeks of travel!! But I'm more than happy to do it. I want to know exactly what we're dealing with. While I'm in Denver I'll be able to have a face to face sit down with Dr. G to have all my questions answered. What a major relief and WAY overdue.

The bad news. T is traveling for work next week and cannot go with me.

The fantastic news. A dear, dear friend that has been by my side for more than a year, though we've never met, is traveling to Denver to be with me for all of this. THIS is why the online infertility community and blog world means the absolute world to me. It has brought simply amazing women into my life that I will treasure always. I am beyond grateful and humbled by how quickly and on the spot she agreed to join me. Expect a night of laughs, tears and red wine!!

When finally turning my focus to donor eggs and accepting all that comes with that and the loss of a genetic connection, I never expected that I would end up in this situation. It scares me to think of the worse case scenario, but at the same time, I've had to...maybe just to prepare myself. But until I'm told that there is nothing left to do, I will continue to have hope that I can carry one of my six embryos and I will try and look at all the positives that have come with this journey.

A major positive...all of you.

Monday, December 9, 2013

An Unsurmountable Journey?

Do you want to know what I've learned the past few days since my last post?

I do have a family that I talk to, that listens and that knows all the struggles that I have faced over these past several years. I do not have words to express what your comments and emails have meant to me. Some of you I've talked to almost daily for months, even years at this point. Some of you I don't know very well...and you may have posted anonymously...but your comments have struck me with how very lucky I am to have the amount of support and love, that I do. I wanted to say that before I say anything else, because really, it's what makes me strong enough to carry on.

My husband is traveling almost the entire month of December. So between that and my struggle with the approaching holidays, we decided that we'd decorate minimally this year. Just our end tables and mantle. It's enough. We didn't completely shut out Christmas, but it's not overwhelming. Here's a picture of our mantle after we finished.

Yes, we have 5 stockings. One for T & I, and one for our three fat cats cause we're crazy cat people. 

After my post on Thursday, I did hear back from Dr. G at CCRM. He still wanted to continue on with another mock cycle and try to get my lining to at least 6mm. I continued to question him about the lining and potential for scar tissue, but he brushed that aside for now. He asked that I have an ultrasound and lab work to see where I was. 

So I was right. I am ovulating normally. The "cyst" that the CCRM nurse asked me if I had thought about having drained a few weeks ago, was not a cyst (I knew this) it was a follicle. I had been using OPK's and BBT these past few weeks and I knew I ovulated and knew my temps were rising and falling as they should based on a normal luteal phase. However, I still wasn't having a period. My ultrasound confirmed all of this. I was at a baseline stage. My lining was (still) thin and my ovaries were  quiet. No cyst. My estradiol was also lower than it's been in 8 months. It was 75. My progesterone was still elevated at 1.43, but that seems to be my new baseline normal. 

I decided that I could no longer wait and see, nor was I willing to continue to fork out thousands of dollars on mock cycles that I knew weren't going to produce a thick lining. Call it a gut feeling. 

I saw my ObGyn on Friday. Spoke with him about everything that's been going on. He agreed that my ovaries seem to be working, my cycles seem to be normal, but my lining seems stuck. He said that he does believe I should investigate what's going on and he offered to do a saline infusion sonohystogram.  

While I have been worried about what CCRM would think about me doing this without their orders, at the same time, I had to find out. My heart has just felt that something is wrong. 

Unfortunately...I was right. 

The saline sonohystogram did not go well. My uterus would not even allow fluid inside which indicates that the walls of my uterus are adhered together. Which indicates severe Asherman's Syndrome. My ObGyn told me that his recommendation is that CCRM preform an operative hysteroscopy to attempt to remove the scar tissue. 

CCRM called me (finally) this afternoon to discuss my results from Friday's monitoring visit. They wanted me to try a special mock cycle. Once I told her about the procedure I had today, she said that definitely changes things and I could hear the compassion in her voice. She felt sorry for me. 

I'm currently waiting on my OB's office to send over the report from today so that Dr. G at CCRM can then tell me what I need to do. I'm hoping he'll be willing to do the surgery that I need. What I do know is I want them to try and fix this before telling me that I need a surrogate. 

My husband is traveling right now. It was a rough day for sure and I wish I'd had him to come home to. I also had an MRI this morning that showed a labrum tear in my right hip. I had the same thing in my left hip 6 years ago. I have hip dysplasia (yes, like a dog) that makes me very susceptible to these type of tears. Awesome, huh?

It means I was told I needed 2 surgeries in a 4 hour period. One that will have me on crutches for 3 weeks and one that will determined whether I will ever have children. 

So when I came home to an empty house tonight, I ate breakfast for dinner, drank TWO glasses of wine, took a long hot bath and have been sitting in bed since 7:30 pm. What I keep looking at is what's on the mantle in our bedroom, that is directly in front of my bed. It's a wonderful reminder of what I do have. Even if he is far away right now...

(My brother-in-law made this for us as a wedding present)

(My company Christmas party, Friday night)

I'm going to end this with another thank you for all of your kind and compassionate words of encouragement. I am not giving up and I am not done. I will move mountains to have a baby and this has not changed my determination. I have 6 embryos counting on me. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Funk

More than anything I have wanted to write a post that was not all doom and gloom. I even feel depressed looking back through my last few posts, I can only imagine what everyone else thinks reading about all of my boo hoo crap.

But the thing is...nothing is changing. Nothing is getting better and absolutely nothing is being done about it. My anxiety is through the roof right now. My holidays are shot. At least Thanksgiving was and I'm dreading Christmas. I was angry and bitter and just wanted to be at home rather than with my family who knows very little about my infertility. They know I had a miscarriage in 2011...but that's it. For whatever reason, that I can't even explain, while I can be very open to friends, acquaintances and strangers about my infertility, I can't seem to open up to them. No desire at all. And sadly, I found very little be thankful for other than this man that is always by my side that seems to keep picking me off the floor and holding me tight because he honestly doesn't know what else to do. 

I still haven't had a period. Nothing. I thought I potentially ovulated because of an OPK and temp shift but 3 weeks later, still nothing. Of course, at the same time I thought I could be ovulating, my lining was a 2. So what's there to shed anyway? CCRM continued to tell me, wait another week, then call. After multiple weeks of this, I let them know on Tuesday that I still didn't have a period and the nurse responded with the following:

"I'm so very sorry. I suggest that you set up a phone regroup with your doctor in order to ask your questions. We can get you scheduled NEXT Thursday."

I then emailed my doctor because he's always so prompt with responses. Usually within a day. That was Tuesday night...still nothing. 

I KNOW that CCRM knows that they're doing. I KNOW that they are the best and I KNOW that they can make miracles happen. But I can't help but feel a bit pushed under the rug. My first phone consult with them was last February. My one day work up was in June. Granted I had the ectopic pregnancy that month, but that was resolved in August. I also know it takes time for your body to get back on track. Even still, I've had enough ectopics, chemicals and D&C's to know...that 4 months is a bit excessive. 

My gut, my every instinct is telling me that something is wrong. I've told them this. Multiple times over the past month but I've got nothing. Just a wait and see. 

I spend my every waking minute literally shaking and on the verge of a panic attack. I started sobbing on my way into work this morning. I need someone to take me seriously. To listen to me. I am frightened that my beautiful embryos will go to waste. That I will never know them beyond their current frozen state.

I'm mostly afraid of what becomes of me if that happens. Will I always want to run for the hills every holiday because the thought of being around family literally makes me ill right now? Will I never get over this sharp pain of constant loss that is attacking my heart right now? 

I really wanted to write something witty and clever and enjoyable so that all of you that are so kind to me, won't look at my blog as the girl that can't seem to get it together, but I am lost right now and have no idea where to turn or what to do.