Friday, November 28, 2008

The latest news...

My initial HCG was 108. Adequate, I think. Of course, I keep comparing with my last pregnancy, with Ethan it was 129.

I have to stop doing this.

Today I had my second HCG and progesterone. HCG 218.5 and progesterone 60.2. It doubled, yay. Still can't call it a BFP, in my mind, I will jinx this pregnancy. I know I'm totally crazy, but I can't celebrate just yet. I don't get it. But, this is how I feel, I'm holding my breath, waiting to exhale a breath of relief. Unfortunately, I know this will not happen until I have a baby in my arms, my baby in my arms.

So, we have our first viability ultrasound Dec. 12th at 1:15. Another wait.

In the meantime, I will just try to take care of myself and try to maintain my "sanity".

Oh yeah, and I have started taking heparin. 2000 units SQ every other day. And still taking my progesterone IM injections. Yay, I'm a pin cushion.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I want to thank all of you in blosphere. Honestly, I don't know what I would've done had I not found this community, this "club". I remember feeling isolated, depressed, desperate. Wanting to find "survivors" of this terrible tragedy. And I did, unfortunately, more than I would've liked. However, by reading your blogs, by hearing your stories, by hearing you talk about your babies, I slowly began to find my way. I was no longer alone. There were people whom had survived and I was learning survival traits.

Today on Thanksgiving Day I want to thank you all. Thank you for your support, thank you for being my "friends" and thank you for hearing my story.

And of course, I'm thankful that I was able to get pregnant with Ethan. Up until then, I thought pregnancy was something for others, not an infertile like me. He restored my faith that I was able to get pregnant. I'm happy I was able to hold my baby in my arms, to see his beautiful face, to see how he had both my physical traits and my husband's. I'm thankful for all of his kicks, his movement in my womb. This of course, makes me miss him more. Today he should be here. Awaiting for the arrival of grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Ethan I'm thankful that I was able to meet you, and I'm thankful that even if you're not here physically present you will forever be present in my heart. I love you Ethan Andrew!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

14 dpo

I took another pregnancy test Monday, BFN. It was 12 dpo.

This morning, I have one stick left. I wake up and think what the heck, next time I'll start off with a new pack. I take the test. In between sleepy eyes, I look down at it. My husband is in the shower, I show it to him. Yes, a faint second line.

I got a positive home pregnancy test.

One day at a time, or one hour at a time. I can't even bring myself to call it a BFP, not yet. I'm off to get my beta HCG level drawn.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

10 dpo

It's 6:22am, I've been up now for 25 min. I woke up this morning thinking "maybe it will be positive". Who did I think I was? Seriously. No, not me. Of course, it wouldn't happen, things like this just don't happen to me.


I tested with first morning urine and of course, it was a BFN.

My flicker of light has just been turned off.

We don't have the money for another cycle, we don't have insurance coverage, I'm turning 36 years old next month. It sucks.

And tomorrow is Ethan's 6 month anniversary. 6 months that my precious baby was born still. We were so close. I could almost feel him, I thought we were in the home stretch. Fool. I'm such a fool. I wish I could go back to that day, if nothing else, to have him in my arms. My arms ache for him. I want to feel him, I want to cry my eyes out without stupid people telling me "he's in a better place". I want to hold him all day.

I miss you Ethan. I love you so much. You will forever be in my heart.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What did you do?

Last night, I took a pregnancy test. I reasoned that it would be too early to test but if I got a negative then I know the HCG is out of my body. I took the HCG trigger shot Monday November 10th. The test was negative. Exactly what I was hoping for, at least for now.

So, now I've established there is no extraneous HCG in my blood and I plan to cheat and test Sunday or Monday. I'm scheduled for my beta HCG level on Wednesday, before Thanksgiving.

This wait is pure torture.

I did get my P4 level yesterday and it was very good 44.78. After I heard the message from my REs office, of course I started to google it. Well, it is a good P4 level and I found one study that looked to see if there was an association between high P4 levels and pregnancy rates. And they found it not to be statistically significant. Oh well, I guess I'm not the only one to think there might be. So, after my high from my elevated P4 level I crashed with the realization that this might not be the case. I might not be pregnant, it didn't work. And because of our financial situation right now we will have to postpone. And postponing is not really that great of an idea because next month I turn 36 years old.

You get the picture, it's a downright spiral. For the meantime, I will try to relax and hope this week zooms by.

In the midst of all of the fertility stuff, I miss Ethan more than ever. I want him to know that I am not trying to replace him. I feel guilty sometimes for TTC again. Then I get angry and hate that we are trying again. I shouldn't be trying so soon, if he was here. But, he isn't. My dim reality.

Sorry guys, I know this post is all over the place. Welcome to my fertility roller coaster.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I worked yesterday, we have to work every 3rd weekend. Yesterday I get to work and one of the night shift nurses approaches me and asks me if I ever want to leave early for me to give her a call. She's used to working tons of OT and lately we are well staffed and the OT is almost nonexistent. So, I began to tell her that yes I would love for her to come in early for me (working 12 hours shifts) then my "friend" interrupts our conversation and asks her to come in early for her, because her husband is going out of town and he needs to pack, etc...

I let it go, I think to myself, I shouldn't be leaving early anyway with all of the infertility bills and all. So, I go on with my day. Then the charge nurse asks if I would like to stay til 10pm because we are now short 2 nurses . On a Sunday evening, that can be very risky, we tend to get very busy in the Pediatric ED after all the Sunday football games are over. So, I consider it, thinking maybe I could stay. After all, we do need a little extra money to cover our expenses. I call my husband and he tells me it's up to me, to go ahead if I'm up to working 15 hours. I contemplate and I agree.

Immediately, after I hang up the phone my "friend" responds, "I can't stay til 10pm because I have a baby at home". Now she didn't tell our charge nurse, no she said it directly to me. And this after, complaining about how little sleep she got and how he's up all night because he is now teething. I would do anything to be sleep deprived with Ethan. Anything.

I respond, "Well, unfortunately I don't have my baby at home, I don't have living a baby". My tone was flat, matter of fact. Melancholic.

She looks at me and pats my leg and says, "That's not what I meant, I'm sorry".

Seriously, she was at Ethan's mass. She was one of the readers of the liturgy. Seriously. Has she already forgotten that we were pregnant together, only she was able to bring her baby home in April, I gave birth to my baby and buried my sweet baby, Ethan, in May. Only 1 month later, my world shattered. It's still shattered, I'm still trying to pick up the pieces. Some days I do better than others, other days I don't know how I make it through.

She doesn't get it. And she may never get it. I hope she never has to go through what I did. But, for my own sanity, I will distance myself from her. I'm happy at least, I did say something, at first it just came out. Automatic. Not out of anger or rage, no that came later. Once I processed the whole thing, then I thought the audacity of her. She's notorious for walking through the ER and saying "Look isn't he beautiful" and insist that I stare at this perfect, little, living creation that is in our emergency department because of diarrhea or some other ailment. I will acknowledge and all but I will not go over and coo over something that causes me so much pain. Why is it so hard to get? Why?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The deposit has been made...

Well, this is how my husband refers to our IUI. We went ahead with the IUI yesterday. Now we must wait for 2 looonggg weeks before we find out if we're pregnant.

Ah yes, how could I forget. And we are now doing the progesterone IM injections. But, I don't care, stick me with all the needles in the world as long as I get pregnant.

So, today I'm off to have a nice relaxing lunch with my DH. We are having restaurant at a new restaurant in town. Gosh I hope it all works out. In the meantime, I'll just try to relax and pray that it works.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Green light...GO!

Yay! I got the green light, we will do our HCG injection tonight and our IUI Wednesday morning. It feels so good. I have 1 mature follicle and 2 follies measuring 16 mm.

I went to Costco's to buy pregnancy tests. Yes, I am a total freak and don't have the patience to wait for our bloodwork. So, I think I will test 9 days after our IUI. I did it last time. We'll see. Please, keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer for me.

Ethan ,
Baby, I miss you. We are trying to have another baby, hopefully we will be successful and you will get to be a big brother along with your brother Jason. Doing all of this, the injections, the ultrasounds, all of it reminds me of you. I remember last year, I only had 1 follicle and guess what pumpkin? That was you! You were Mommy's little miracle baby. I was so proud to tell that story and I still am. I love you so much my little angel. I miss you!

CD 15

I am so over this cycle. I had 4 follies Saturday when I went in for my follicle scan. It's been a rough one this time, our insurance isn't helping any either. We don't have coverage for the IUI or the follie scan, but we do get coverage for the medications. I'm glad about this, but on Saturday after my RE increased my dose to 300 iu of Menopur we had to rush to the pharmacy and my insurance made us jump through hoops. At the end, we ended up paying for the medication on our own. Apparently, now my insurance needs preauthorization to fill this rx and so on. So, $325 later we drive home with our 5 vials of Menopur.

I hope today we get the greenlight to go forward with the HCG shot and then we can do our IUI on Wednesday. I hope it works. I keep telling myself we only need one mature follicle. I got pregnant with Ethan with 1 follicle.

On a side note, we have finally begun to move forward with picking out a headstone for Ethan. We've delayed it for a bit, almost 6 months now. November 23rd will be his 6 month anniversary. It was something I couldn't bring myself to do initially. I feel as if it's the last thing we will do for him, it's the finality. I wanted to delay it for as long as I could. Also, I didn't just want to put any ole headstone there for him. It's a sacred place for us, and we must chose wisely.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Infertility, injections, ultrasounds, blood work, etc...


We went and met with the MFM doctor. The genetic counselor was great. Very attentive, caring and most importantly she listened. The doctor was good. She was patient and answered all of my questions about a subsequent pregnancy.

There is just one thing, she said it was a "fluke" accident and highly unlikely to happen again. Strike one.

Then she referred to Ethan's death as "fetal demise". I quickly corrected her and stated his name was ETHAN. Strike two. I know the medical term is accurate. But, to a grieving Mom this medical term is very impersonal, and sterile. My son would've had a great chance for survival if he would've been born alive. He was a fully formed baby.

There is no strike three. So, we'll see what happens and will decide whether to consult with her if and when I become pregnant (fingers crossed).

This takes me to my second update. Yes, we have begun the fertility treatments again. I am currently on CD 9. I had my ultrasound yesterday and I had 4 follicles. So, my RE has increased my dose to 150 IU of Menopur. I hope they grow. I remember with Ethan I only had 1 mature follicle and that turned out to be my beautiful baby boy. So, I was a bit down because 4 follies is not very good and also my E2 was only 74. Up from 24 on CD 3. I have to remember all I need is 1 follicle. I hope this works. Please keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer for us. We return Thursday to see how my follies and lining are doing.

I was also informed by my fertility doctor that I will have to be on heparin if I get pregnant. Apparently, I have lupus anticoagulant present. This puts me at a higher risk for clotting. I also have one copy of the MTFHR gene mutation. I'm OK with this, I would rather know this now than later. I will do whatever it takes to maintain a healthy pregnancy and at the end hold a living baby in my arms. More shots, sure bring them on.

Also, I am not telling anyone about our TTC journey this time. I want to keep it to myself. I'm not sure I want other's to think I've "gotten over it". Some people at work think as soon as I have or begin trying that I'm all better. I'm not, I miss my baby more than ever. I will never be over it, and even if I have 10 more babies after Ethan it will never replace him. I will always be a Mommy to a baby boy that died. I don't cry as easily anymore. I've noticed I try to control it a bit more. Actually, I can control it. Especially at work. But, also this TTC journey is harder, there are times I don't even know if I can go through this again.

And finally, we had a wonderful time in California. It was beautiful, the weather was perfect. Disney and Universal Studios were great. And of course, we went to the beach. We were in Malibu and we actually saw a couple pairs of dolphins swimming pretty close to the shoreline. It was beautiful. I will post some pictures, if I figure out how to do it. And Jason picked up some rocks for Ethan. He started this right after Ethan died. He will collect rocks and write Ethan's name on it and take it to his grave. We have a whole vase filled with rocks and messages for Ethan. At one point he said, "Mommy, Ethan would've had fun with us if he were here".

Missing you Always, Ethan. We love you!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"El dia de los Muertos"

The day of the dead.

Being of Mexican descent, I am well familiar with this holiday. As a child, I don't remember celebrating it all that much, unless we were in Mexico. Sometimes our customs are washed away in an effort to assimilate into American culture. But, now as an adult, I really want to embrace this holiday, this day of celebration. After all it is a day of celebration, a celebration of life. It is a day of remembrance. A day to remember those who have died.

Last year, we went to the Arts Center here in town. There is an annual celebration, filled with exhibits, altars, crafts for the kids. We were there last year. And the year before, we were in Mexico during this time. Lil Jason was able to participate in all of the festivities. It's as though we were being primed for our own day of the dead. I've exposed him to death from the beginning. I never sugar coated death, I never told him the all too common phrases to describe death. I have no regrets about this. Death, the word in in itself is not a dirty word yet in this culture, we often find other terms to describe it. As if doing so, will make the pain less.

I've taken him to cemeteries, to visit our family. His great grandparents are buried in a beautiful, serene, quaint cemetery in Mexico. At times, I've asked myself if all this "death exposure" is healthy for him. I've concluded, it is. Death is a part of life. Death surrounds us. We can't escape it. We can try to pretend it will not happen, but I don't want this for him. I want him to know yes it happens, and yes it will happen again in our family. And yes, we continue to live. And we actually do survive. Death and life are intertwined. By confronting death we can learn to live and value life. Life is fragile, and by recognizing this we can learn to see the beauty of life.

The grief, the agonizing pain. It is still here, it is more controllable, but is still here. Quietly awaiting it's unleashing.

I went to Mass with Jason on Friday, 10/31. And when I looked over to the right of the altar there was a cloth scroll hanging from the wall, it had all of the names of the deceased for our parish this year. Ethan's name was there. I immediately felt that familiar pain. The sorrow, the grief. The scroll read, We remember in Prayer. It hurt, but it also was comforting to know that I am not the only one remembering my precious baby. Our pastor said that 7 of the 32 names on the scroll are of babies and stillborn babies. 7. It should not be.

Ethan should be here. Alive and kicking right now. But he's not, he's dead. He's buried in a cemetery.

I miss you so much Ethan. There are no words to describe it. Oh the agonizing pain. How can anyone go on living after their baby has died?

However, today I will remember, I will celebrate his life. He was alive for 32 wonderful weeks. He kicked, he moved, he reacted to my voice, to my touch. He reacted to music. He would move all over whenever I played Jennifer Lopez or my favorite Mexican singer, Juan Gabriel. He was alive. And I will remember and celebrate his life. He has touched my life and the life of many during his time here.

Ethan, Mommy misses you so much and I love you with all of my heart and being. We love you so much. Your big brother asks about you constantly. You are alive in our hearts. Sweet baby boy, Mommy and Daddy love you so much. We want to thank you for coming into our lives, even if it was only for a brief moment. The time we had with you, we will cherish forever.