Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hard times

This has been a hard month.

I can't stop thinking about those children and their families from Connecticut.  And when I think of them, I cry.  Doesn't matter if I am on the bus, at work, putting my precious child to bed -- I cry.  Because I could not put the pieces of my life back together if B was taken away from me, and I hate thinking about how these parents have to try to do just that.  Maybe because I did lose someone suddenly (my father died suddenly when I was 14), I know too well the true deep grief that one feels when the world changes in an instant.  But the loss of a child?  That is too much to bear -- it violates the very order of things in the universe.  And so I cry for those families, I cry in fear that something could happen to B, and I cry because I have known loss and it never really goes away.

I've signed every gun control petition that is out on the internet, I've written my congressman and senators, and signed up for the million kids march and I've hugged everyone tightly.  So not much more to actually DO.  Yet despite my action to try to repair the world, those families still lost children.

Other scary things in recent past?  Let's see -- there was the terrible terrible tragedy of a nanny having a breakdown and stabbing two young children to death in their apartment. 10 blocks from my house, and very much in my community. The mother was out with her middle child at swimming when it happened.  Where I take B to swimming.  I have a nanny that I love and trust with my child, but this was so, so close to home.  It scared everyone I know. It broke my heart and was completely terrifying.

Then there was the hurricane.  In which people we know lost everything they have, others died when trees suddenly fell on them, and two children got pulled out of their mother's arms by rising flood waters and drowned.  Also completely terrifying. Because I cannot imagine living as that mother with that loss and guilt and sadness.

And then most randomly, a mentally ill person pushed a passenger in front of a subway. And he died.  I'm afraid of very little in the city, but that actually happens to be my irrational fear, but it turns out to be not so irrational after all.

People die every day.  People die random, unplanned, tragic deaths every day.  And every one of those people should be mourned.  Yet somehow in my community, in my world, there seems to be just so much that is scary and sad and it makes me question if or how I can protect my family.  I guess I can't really keep B in a bubble, with me at all times in our home.  But there is just so much sadness and fear.

This is so damned depressing. But it's been a rough month with a lot of crying.  There is just so much sadness these days, I hope that we can all pull together to make things a bit brighter for us and our children.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

So as it turns out, I'm not dead

And nor have I given up on this whole "let's see if we can have a second kid before I am 45" dream.

It's been a while, so here's a brief summary of where I've been (and where my head has been, which to sum it up, has pretty much been all over the place).

- Start trying for baby number two in Feb 2012.  On second cycle get pregnant with low but normally rising betas.  After 7 weeks and a heartbeat, get kicked in the teeth when I develop a SCH and miscarry.  Cry.  Lots.  Feel that this was my one decent shot and that the stupid SCH f*cked it all up.  Have no data that actually proves that to be true, but I hold onto that like it is an article of faith.  Because I'm positive that way.

- After D&C and some healing, jump right back in. If I can get pregnant once, I can do it again.  And screw you for mucking up my life with a MC.  Manage to squeeze in a cycle before we go away for July.  Commute by car and train 4 hours for transfer to find that only embryos I've got kinda suck -- 6, 5 and 4 cell.  Hoo-f*ing-ray.  Enjoy the rest of vacation and then get a call with BFN on the way back home.

- Try another cycle. Because you know, I'm not going out on crappy embryos like that.  Crank out 15 eggs.  Exactly zero fertilize with ICSI.  They try to do IVM and some do fertilize after that, but none develop.  Nothing to transfer.  I hit the lowest of the low. Because what I've always believed is that if I am cranking out a fair number of eggs (always more than 10, up to 18), I should actually have *better* odds than my age group would predict.  But if nothing f*ing fertilizes because there is something else going on?  Well then my statistical chances of having a real live baby are pretty much also zero (which would be, for those of you following, *less* than the statistics at my advanced age.)  Rant and rail against the unfairness of it all and realized I probably made some piss poor choices that got me to where I am 42 years old and trying to have a kid.  Review my entire adult life and proclaim it a huge mistake and failure, except for the miracle of B. But frankly, he'd be happier with a younger mom and a sibling too.  So feel like sh*t.  Still do, most days.

Have long heart to heart with RE.  His view is that we need to do some research into what's going on with my eggs and DH's sperm.  After a long consult with the andrologist (who was one of the first to use ICSI, so I guess he knows what he is doing, their general belief is that there is something weird happening with maturity of my eggs, and while they appear mature, cytoplasmically, all is not well.  So a protocol change is recommended for what may be our very last try. Because if we can't get my eggs to fertilize, then we are done.

- Try again in October.  18 eggs, 16 mature, 11 fertilize. I breathe a huge sigh of relief that we have figured out how to get my fertilization rates higher (pretty much anything above 0% would be good, but now I am right up by the ICSI averages for the first time ever). Transfer 4 good looking embryos (8,7,7,7) and feel completely confident that we have figured out the problem and the cycle will work.  Except it doesn't.  Because despite knowing full well that the likelihood of a chromosomally normal embryo is pretty low, I still thought that I would get pregnant on this cycle.  Amazing how irrational hope is.  Don't even bother crying any more. Just angry.  Pretty much all the time.  Except at B.

- Try again in November (yeah, why take a break when I am careening into another birthday?).  10 eggs only 6 mature, but 5 fertilize.  But at 3 days they are only 8, 5, 4, 4 cells (and one at 2 that doesn't even count).  Thinking that they maybe triggered me a day too soon this go round, but I had a large discrepancy in follicle size for the first time, so who really knows any more.  Transfer was yesterday.  Feel pretty much like this is a loss already, since it's pretty unlikely that 5 or 4 celled embryos will become a baby.  So just annoyed, and sad, and would very much like a drink.  Right now, thanks very much.  But instead I will probably eat an organic cheese stick, since that's what's in the house right now and I don't really feel that I should poison these embryos.  At least not on the first day of the wait.

In other news, B is a real delight.  He makes jokes, speaks in sentences, and has started singing ALL the time.  Nothing better than waking up to the sound of him singing in his crib.  Makes the rest of this sh*t completely worthwhile.  He had a lovely halloween and we hosted a very nice thanksgiving with our families, and we are now trying to find 8 small presents for the upcoming hanukah marathon.  He informed me he wanted a piano. A big piano. In his room. And he wants a french horn.  And a tuba.  We will see about that.

Here's a photo, just so that you can feel confident that he is not as crabby as his mother is.  This was the afternoon after our first trip to the ER -- he fell over in his stroller (he was standing up, against strict instructions, before I buckled him in, and then tried to jump.  Bad idea.) and got a big ol' gash and large lump over his right eye, and then was very sleepy, so we took him in just to be sure he hadn't done too much damage. He was fine, and it was probably good to go to the ER when it wasn't a real crisis.  But it did make hard to get a good photo for the holiday card the next day when we went out to the pumpkin patch, as pretty much every shot showed either the gash or his black eye. But aside from the minor crisis detailed above, he is just better than I could hope for.