Fertility treatments, Love, Pregnancy, Volatile bodies

A New life

I gave birth to a most beautiful baby boy a short while ago. He’s healthy and everything I could’ve ever hoped for. The pregnancy was hard on me and I was put to bed rest for the last months so that he wouldn’t come too early. The labour was over 24 hours long all together but I still pushed him to the world myself. I got to feel it too because of the medication wearing off right before. There were a couple of scares during the labour and it almost went to a c-section because his heartbeat was too low. I am thankful beyond any thanking to the medical team, the midwives and the doctors who helped me give birth to a healthy child. All the fear and pain were worth it when I first got to hold him. All the years of sadness and worry were worth it.

I can’t believe that he’s real, he’s here and he’s mine. When I breastfeed him in my arms I can’t help but wonder in amazement that we created him. There’s parts of me there, parts of Wonderboy. I thought I wouldn’t get to see myself in him; I was prepared to have a child who wouldn’t be genetically mine. It was hard to get used to the idea during pregnancy, but it isn’t’ anymore. He’s himself, so tiny, so frail, so wonderful and curious about the world.

It’s only been a little while since the baby was born but we’ve already started to look for the thing that brought us both so much joy when we had very little of it. First sexual experiences after the biggest change in a woman’s life and body have been scary and yet I’ve been supported by Wonderboy through all this. Finally it doesn’t have to be a place to hide in from all the grief, it can be a place of discovery again.

I wanted to come back here and tell everyone who might still be reading and wondering what happened to us. We got everything we want now. This story really has a happy ending.

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Love, Passing Woman, Pregnancy, Volatile bodies

A Miracle

I’m pregnant. I’m almost four months along now and starting to believe it. By starting to I mean that I don’t check the toilet paper for blood every time I go, just every other time. Also, I’m becoming huge. Surprisingly none of this has been a problem for Wonderboy. You should see him. He’s so happy all the time it’s impossible to remember what he used to be like. And he can’t go more than a couple of minutes without groping my huge boobs. I’ve already upgraded a cup and I fear I’ll have to upgrade my winter coat and every clothing I have in no more than a month.

I am happy. It’s been so much easier to negotiate sexual things even though I’ve barely been able to share any with Wonderboy in these passed months. There’s such a sense of fulfillment. It’s not only in my body, although it most definitely is in my body, it’s also in our relationship and in my relationship with the world at large. I’ve fulfilled this potential I had, this demand I faced within myself. Sex can finally be lifted out of the hole of having anything to do with infertility and it can start to be itself again. It has surprised me how much happiness the news brings to people close to me, even people I don’t know that well. Especially women. They don’t know about our struggles but yet they tear up, want to hug me and make sure I’m okay. This makes me believe even more that there’s something deeply engraved in us, that it wasn’t just me with the pain, that it’s in us (most of us anyway). The desire to be fulfilled and fulfill the potential like this as a miracle worker.

It’s quite disillusioning, being pregnant. Seeing that little critter spasm inside my uterus didn’t exactly bond me with it. Nor did the fact that I learned that it doesn’t have brains yet and that’s why it moves like that or that it’s entrails aren’t even inside its body. Still, everything is like it’s supposed to be. It’s healthy, it’s growing, it’s going to be our child. And seeing it was important. It made the fact real that it’s a another person, not just my ever changing body.

I’m guessing you’d like to know what happened? How did we conceive finally after almost four years?

Our money was running out. We’d had to move onto a private clinic because of the treatments I needed. This was the third IVF at the clinic, our fifth all together. I’d had to stop taking the hormones that helped me produce more and more viable eggs, because they gave me pretty severe cardiac dysrhythmia. In the end I also started to suffer from breathing problems during the treatments. My throat kept closing up and sometimes I would wake up startled and try to catch my breath sitting down. It was pretty clear that my body wasn’t handling the treatments well anymore and it was endangering my health.

After the first try after the help of the hormones, with the starting pregnancy with the twins that twindled so early on, on fourth to sixth week like all the eight other pregnancies, we decided that it wasn’t worth putting my health at risk. What was wrong even the doctor couldn’t guess. The embryos were perfect. My uterus, the hormones, everything was perfect. Except the result. We decided that we would make one last attempt and then settle in on the donor program to get eggs from someone else.

To my doctors (positive) dismay I already had three donors lined up, because my little sister and my friends love me to death and I will never forget what they promised me and how they changed my life when they did. Everyone just wanted for us to have a child. Everyone wanted us to be happy.

But we still had that last chance. And since it was the last chance I begged the doctor, like I’d asked a number of times before, if we could try the cortisone treatment. I’ve had a lot of time to read in these 3,5 years and I’ve read a lot of research. If I had an immunological decease, like the celiac decease, my body could be attacking the embryo thinking it was a virus. And the only thing that would help with that is cortisone. They didn’t find any antibodies in my blood to suggest I had celiac decease, but our first doctor had put me on gluten free diet anyway. And it had helped. It changed my body shape because I lost so much weight. It changed my bodily functions, my activity levels, pretty much everything for better. But they couldn’t find the antibodies in my blood, so they wouldn’t put me on cortisone with the IVF treatment. The doctor finally caved. Since this is the last try, she said.

I started the cortisone straight away since the treatment was right around the corner. When we started with the injections I already felt the difference. It didn’t hurt. My ovaries didn’t burn, I couldn’t really feel anything while the eggs were growing but some mild discomfort. I knew straight away that this was it. I knew that we had found the answer and that this was what I was supposed to feel all those other times. Even the doctor was intrigued when I told her about the pains not being there this time.

We got fewer eggs than the last time and like last time none of them were considered ripe. The doctor had noticed that all our viable embryos had sprung from the raw eggs and from the ones they didn’t use ICSI for. So it turns out that Wonderboy’s sperm was actually doing its job best when it was left to fend for itself like it’s supposed to. So we chose to put them all on the petri dish and hope for the best since there weren’t many eggs to begin with. There were six when we left the clinic.

And when I went to see the doctor a couple of days later there was only one that had developed normally to eight cells. Only eight little cells put together! How could that ever grow into a child? Its inner workings weren’t perfect so they couldn’t do assisted hatching like we had talked, but they had added this embryo glue to help it attach. And in it went.

The excruciating pains started four days later when it was supposed to attach and I knew of course what was happening. But it was like all those eight other times. I was just more in pain than before and the pains didn’t subside. I spent the weekend under a duvet with a painkiller and a hot water bottle. After that I got used to waking up every night at 0.30 am and 3-4 am to pains that the painkillers I was allowed to take weren’t really combating very well. And I became pretty hopeful. Since the pains were continuous, they weren’t fading like before, they were getting more strength.

And then one thursday morning I did the pregnancy test. It was the fourteenth day after conceiving in the lab and I was due to take a blood test the 18th in the clinic. I had barely had time to put the stick down when it brightened with two crossing lines. No doubt, I was pregnant. But doubt there was… so much doubt and fear. Wonderboy wouldn’t believe it until we saw what the blood works would say. On monday I went to the clinic and later that day I called for the results. With the twins my hcg levels had tipped a bit to 6-8 hcg. I knew that it was supposed to be 280 by now and I was scared. But there was no need. It was over 800. I was most definitely pregnant.

I went to the first ultrasound on week 5 and we already saw the heartbeat. Then we went together at the end of 6th week and it had grown to twice its size. Everything was good. Everything was normal.

And every night I woke up twice to the excruciating pain that even my doctor was a bit concerned about. But I wasn’t. If I had felt pains the eight times we conceived before, it was only natural that this would hurt even more. Because this time it had worked.

I haven’t had a lot time to process this. I haven’t had a lot of time to be happy. I’ve been so sick, the pains have been at times unbelievable and I have suffered from near continuous migraine for the first time in my life. This is the first time I am able to write anything this long without puking or having to go into a dark room to lie down. This is the second week there has been some normal days. Yesterday was the start of the week 15 of the pregnancy, and it was the first day I didn’t suffer from anything until late at night.

It must be self-evident that I don’t care. I don’t care. We will probably only ever have this one child. And it will be so loved, it is so loved already. We have fought this battle together and we have conquered. Everything is better now. I didn’t think it would be, but it is. Everything is easier, well, except moving and maybe sex. And even that doesn’t matter so much anymore. We have had to learn to wait, to be patient, to tread lightly with sexy things. But we have had ample time to learn the skills to do that: negotiate, be frank and unassuming when it comes to sexual acts.

Last time I said I didn’t want him to hit me or strangle me at all. There was a pause, he was scared and uneasy, because he had noticed that my responses were different and didn’t know what he could do now. We cuddled and talked and then started again. And when his hand went gently on my throat when we were getting close it wasn’t enough for me. I pushed his hand to grip more tightly. Because he had listened to me and I had spoken to him, I could do that. I could ask for it.

There were some droplets of blood, and even though our nurse had said after the first ultrasound and my freaking out on some blood that it was perfectly normal, I asked that we’d not have intercourse again. The blood was too scary. It’s not worth it. I don’t know if we will or won’t, if I change my mind. But I know it will be different. It will all be different. And it will all be the same, too.

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Passing Woman, Pregnancy, Self-Questioning, Volatile bodies

I’ve been reading a lot of research about settling for not having kids. I met a fellow fertility treatment buddy of war the other day, but she wasn’t a war buddy anymore. She had given up. On Facebook I’ve seen enough to realize that three of the women I know in addition to the first one have given up hope. One of them even was so bold as to say that it was a huge mistake to even start the treatments at all.

I read about a study today which stated that one third of the couples in fertility treatments just give up. The study, or the article based on it, made it sound like they were giving up against their better judgement. But really: if these women are giving up six to eight years into their career as trying to become moms – is that giving up? Really? Should they keep on trying and for how long? How long would it be prudent? How long would suffice so that everybody could agree that it’s not going to happen?

I feel so conflicted. It makes my skin crawl that people have an opinion or a say in the matter of someone else’s treatments or their becoming a parent. Is fifteen years enough that you can give up? What about three, if it makes your marriage crumble? What about one, if you fall completely apart?

And why would it? If I was in your shoes, I’d just... sprinkle on some fairy dust and conceive? Yeah. I used to think like that too. Just do it. Stop complaining. Why can’t you do anything about it? Well, with fertility, there’s really not much a woman can do. 

I don’t want to settle. But…

It comes up more an more. In my thoughts. In Wonderboy’s words. 

What if. How’s our life going to be, if we don’t have any children, ever? 

At this moment I don’t really even see anything changing anymore. I got this huuuge deal closing in in a few months and it might change my life. My boss also talked to me about us working on getting me up the ladder an into the management. She also commented that now she could talk about these plans since there was no news. I guess my tragedy is working for me. I don’t even feel betrayed by that, I feel blessed. I’m able and competent enough to start leading these enterprises. 

I’ve been up this whole week, working up until 8 pm  three whole nights. I ain’t got nuthin against it. 

I’m drinking my Cabernet now, while Wonderboy sleeps away his insomnia. It’s funny really what it only took to take this sleeplessness of his away. I only had to tell him that my womb hurts, I bleed some, but it hasn’t started yet and it makes me want to scratch myself to death. He was like “is that all this was?” I don’t know what his all this entails really, but I guess my moods, my not wanting to cuddle, because he went on to say that he only wanted to be cuddled. I apologized and bought a stupid ass panty with a fucking lipstick pink bow on the back and pink lace and I put on my new lace bra and smoky makeup the way I know he likes it…

We got to watch two episodes of the Fullmetal Alchemist before he started to droop and it was time for him to go to sleep. 

This reminded me of the Perverse Cowgirl’s post about 5 love languages, because it amused me to realize that for Wonderboy to feel loved it was enough that I bought us some wine and offered him some and – made myself look very pretty just for him. That wouldn’t be enough for me, I think, but it made him feel so safe and loved that I didn’t even had to cuddle him but a minute before he was almost asleep. 

I was left here with an opened bottle for the longest time and I can’t even tell you how liberating it has been to just drink without any fear of consequences. I chatted with my sister some and now… I guess I’m gonna sleep, too. What am I gonna do – call a cab and go to a club by myself? No. I wanna wake up with my warm Wonderboy and fuck his brains out. a woman with a plan, right?

Maybe more than 6 hours of sleep will finally start my period and release me from this limbo of boiling emotions. I hope… Because otherwise the fucking might be left out of the equation but the rest will not. 

 

Buying panties and reading studies – Just an ordinary day

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Fertility treatments, Love, Male Lead Relationship stuff, Passing Woman, Pregnancy, Volatile bodies, What Women Really Want, Wonderboy

Survival of the Fittest to Adapt

We have been trying to keep doing a small token thing, a ritual if you like. I think it was Lily’s wonderful book that gave us the idea. When we haven’t been able to do much else, and even when we have, Wonderboy has always commanded me to prepare the tea for us. I haven’t been able to do even that with the procedures and my body being so sick.

When I got out of the transfer, I was so proud of myself for doing it all by myself. I was so happy to finally get there that I needed to reward myself, so I bought these hand made chocolates. They were for us both, but Wonderboy’s been on a strict diet so it has mostly been me to consume the chocolates. Somehow Wonderboy still figured a new ritual could take place in this: it is my job to bring the golden chocolate box to him, if I want them. He will pick and choose one for me. Only one. And then I get to eat it. If I ask and he thinks it fits, he can grant me another. This… makes me oddly happy.

We tried to have sex yesterday. It was tentative, I admit, but I was actually turning a little horny. It has been almost three weeks since last time and I do feel a little alienated from my body. From him.

I’m glad that we tried. I’m glad about everything we did. About the nakedness, the warm skin, his scent, his lips. We caressed ear other from head to toes like I’ve never imagined Sex going. It was very loving and we were pretty scared. That’s probably why it didn’t hurt our feelings that we couldn’t do it. The progesterone capsules I have to use go straight into the vagina. They stay there to give me progesterone through the day. (3 times a day, so at work too. That’s been a treat, I’m telling you.) Turns out they also burn like hell, if you go on meddling in the orifices. No amount of lubrication helped, we were both burning. So we stopped. We kept hugging and kissing little, sweet and innocent kisses.

Do you want to do something else? To play? I asked.

Not really, Wonderboy said.

Me neither. It’s because of the burning, it kind of took the desire away.

Yeah, he admitted.

Then we caressed each other for a while.

It’s kind of miraculous that we can have a conversation like this – a situation like this – and both feel pretty happy and serene. We weren’t really even that disappointed. It was about something else entirely. It would’ve been nice to be able to have an orgasm together, but… it wasn’t as important as I once imagined. Huh. We exchanged our love yous there and then went on to read and play games by ourselves. It isn’t such a big deal considering the stuff we are going through.

I woke up tonight with soul shattering cramps. They almost made me throw up and wouldn’t subside in an hour before I took some pain medicine. I had to go sleep on the coach because the pain would stay away in only a certain position. At night I still thought that these could be the pains associated with the implantation. But today… when the cramps kept on rolling and kept shaping into a more familiar shape. I’ve nee here before. All the other times I thought I was pregnant I suffered for these same kinds of cramps and pains and stabs. They remind menstrual cramps a lot but aren’t exactly the same.

Now I feel I know. I know already. It didn’t work. There isn’t going to be a baby, not this time either.

The next time we have a chance will be in another hospital, with another doctor, after some waiting because of our move. It will probably be before next Christmas. Probably. But they might want to treat us differently. We might end up losing time again, doing treatment cycles that don’t result in any embryos. It’s not like it’s self-evident anyway – I got 10 follicles and only one was developed enough that they could transfer it (and only 3 fertilized at all).

Same all fears began to rise. Same all thoughts. Will we ever? Will we have to use someone else’s sperm or follicles in the end, anyway? Will our money run out? Will our will run out?

It’s not for certain yet. Wonderboy still believes I might be pregnant. I don’t anymore. I feel my body too well. Damnit. I was so happy for a while, even to be given a chance.

I don’t really know how I feel yet. But not devastated. Disappointed. Expectant. Sad, a little hopeless even. If it didn’t work, we still don’t know, if we can get pregnant. We still don’t know, if it will ever work for us. We still just have to wait. It’s quite a big thing to ask of someone, this waiting,  without a promise for the hopes to be fulfilled.

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Pregnancy

News!

Too… tired… to write… But gotta let you know: the tests came back today. There’s nothing wrong with our chromosomes, the DNA or anything else they tested. They also sent me to get an ultra sound and a blood pregnancy test just to be sure – and they found 9 little wannabe-follicles in each of my ovaries! The doctor was baffled and ordered us to test for ovulation in a couple of days and try by ourselves. In  two weeks we’ll start a new IVF regime. Unless the test comes back positive, tomorrow.

 

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Pregnancy

To be or not to be?

There was a lot of blood and a lot of pain for two days. But not that much blood that I’d be sure that it’s over. Now the feeling is different. It’s this burning  sensation in my ovaries or on either side of the womb. Right now it mostly burns on the right side. I’ve never felt this way before, except for the hormone injections in the first IVF cycle felt a bit similar.

It’s stupid, but this odd feeling gives me hope that I just can’t live with right now! We had our office christmas party tonight and I had to dash to the washroom to cry in the stall just because this burning started and it didn’t let me not think about this. I left without saying a word, except for this one collague who knows about our treatments and is actually going through the same with her husband. I told her everything crying in the hall leading to the bathroom just like people do in night clubs with passers-by quietly glancing at us as she hugged me and made it a little better.

I can’t tell what I feel to Wonderboy. He’s already so lost with this new twist. He needs to feel certain that things are certain. But are they ever? And why am I trying to make him feel better when I’m the one having to face this? I don’t know. Maybe I’d like the option of not having to face this too.  I can understand why that’s scary – something you can’t fathom, because your body is just not made that way. He’s so scared for me I get scared for him. 🙂 ❤

But I am okay. Kind of. It’s hard to explain. I don’t know why I feel the way I feel. I don’t feel… anxiety at all. You’d expect me to feel anxiety, wouldn’t you? Or hopelessness or something. But nope. I just feel. Weird. Happy. Very fragile. Hopeful. And sad.

I’d just want to be sure and focus on the future. But which future? Aaaagh!

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