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Evanescence

OK, so the title has nothing to do with my post today, but I couldn’t think of a title, so I asked K to name a random word and ‘evanescence’ is what he chose. If you feel so inclined to look it up, it is absolutely something that I experienced with my first miscarriage, and it’s totally worth exploring in the future.

Anyway…

I’ve been working on a draft FOR EVER, but it seems that I have so much to say and way too little time to organize my thoughts. That big post is going to have to digest for a while longer before I figure out a palatable way to present it to the world. 🙂

Meanwhile, our poor girl kitty Bernstein leapt off the loft railing in pursuit of a moth, fell to the lower level, and injured her hind leg. The x-rays show no fractures, but she is still in pain 10 days later. The vet refilled her pain prescription today and she is a bit more comfortable but still limping everywhere and sometimes growling if another cat gets too close. Overall, though, I must say she’s been a great patient. She put herself on kitty bed rest and has never lashed out at us when we’ve tried to help. Here she is, looking sad while waiting for the vet:.

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In the fertility world, I’m SURE I had implantation spotting one week ago, but after 6 days in a row of negative pee sticks, AF finally arrived today. I might try a Clomid cycle this month. Fingers crossed.

Thinking of you all. ❤

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More RAM, please

Well, my kitty Bing just curled up in my lap with a vengeance, so I’m taking it as a sign that I should take a moment to write.

This week has been extremely tough for me. Several big work projects piled up for May and I just can’t seem to keep up mentally or physically. I’ve tried to carve out a little bit of relaxation time, but then I just end up feeling MORE anxious about getting everything done and MORE guilty that I’m not doing it. My mental CPU has so many things to process that everything in my head is running slowly and burning out the motor. Infertility always runs in the background, making me less capable of functioning well when presented with other stressors. I need more RAM!

A good friend pointed out that I have a tendency to take on new projects without letting something else go. I do this with work projects, of course, but also with big life changes. For example, getting married and moving into a bigger house requires more housework. Making appointments to try new violas takes time. My new chamber music concert series takes planning. Blogging takes mental capacity. And TTC takes A LOT of time, energy, money, and headspace. I had shaved some things off my schedule, but as evidenced by the way I’ve felt this week, it’s not nearly enough. In the absence of more RAM, I must delete some programs from my system.

Part of my problem is that, since I work mostly from home, my work follows me wherever I go, even when I think I’m relaxing.

Next steps to internal zen: Take less work. Separate work from pleasure! ❤

P.S. I'm sorely disappointed in the NCIS show for what they did with Palmer's infertility storyline. Poof, there is a bun in the oven! Grrrrr.

Baby DNA, Part Deux

The genetic counselor called me today to further discuss the fetal DNA results from my miscarriage in February.

She confirmed that the fetus WAS a carrier of Fragile X, but that the real problem was Trisomy 9.  Then she went on to give me a few interesting tidbits:

1.  Trisomy 9 is the cause of 50% of first trimester miscarriages.  (This conflicts with what Dr. Google says about it being “rare”.)
2.  Trisomy 9 is completely random; it doesn’t indicate future T9 pregnancies.
3.  Trisomy 9 is never compatible with life.
4.  Trisomy 9 can be screened out with PGD.

Regarding Tidbit #4, the genetic counselor also mentioned that the hospital has changed its protocol for PGD.  Instead of doing Day 3 biopsy and getting the results in time for a Day 5 transfer, they’re now doing Day 5 biopsies and only FET’s.  There is some data to suggest that removing a few cells from a Day 5 blastocyst screws ’em up less than taking them from a Day 3 embryo.  (But I heard the opposite from the Genesis Genetics lab.  Honestly, sometimes I think it’s all bullsh*t.)

So, if we change our minds and decide to do PGD with our next IVF after all, at least we’ll be spared the stress of going to the hospital on Day 5 without knowing if there are any embies to put in.   And I’ll be spared the sudden Crinone/Estrace withdrawal I experienced on all four of my IVF cycles!  Somehow that makes me feel a little better.  ❤

Expecting A Miracle (Barf!)

The mountains of clean laundry to be folded and stowed were beginning to suffocate me, so I flipped on the TV while I worked in the bedroom.

The first program that came up was a movie called Expecting A Miracle, starring Jason Priestly. The movie sucked me in before I realized it was about infertility. I changed the channel, pronto, but for some reason, the movie kept pulling me back.

The story: Rather than pay for yet another round of IVF, an infertile couple decides to use their remaining IVF savings for a needy little boy’s health care. A few weeks later, POOF, they’re pregnant. Cut to the closing credits.

See, they just relaxed, and it happened! Like magic. Because they DESERVED it for being selfless.

Well, Mr. Movie Producer, I would like to inform you that:

1. Whether or not a woman gets pregnant has NOTHING to do with how relaxed she is.
2. As much as I really, really wish it were so, Being A Good Person doesn’t help you, either.
3. Just because a previously infertile woman gets a positive result on an HPT does not mean her infertility journey is suddenly over.
4. The nobility of making an after-school-special-style movie about infertility is negated when you oversimplify the topic.

That is all! ❤

Feline Mental Health Break :)

Back in mid-February when the nurses told us that our 3rd beta indicated a non viable pregnancy (Poof), we put in an application to adopt a 3rd cat (mentioned briefly in Go In Peace.)  A week later, we welcomed Bing into our home.

 

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Bing has been such a loving addition to our fur baby family.  He’s sweet, cuddly and playful and he follows us wherever we go. He and our other male cat, Debussy, get along famously:

 

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…and Bing can often be observed cleaning Debussy:

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Our third kitty, Bernstein, who is actually a very sweet female calico/tortoiseshell under normal conditions, felt very threatened at first but is finally STARTING to warm up to Bing.  Her hissing is down to about once every other day.  🙂

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So happy to have our little cuddle balls.  There’s nothing like unconditional love to make our fertility struggle a little more tolerable!  ❤

Baby DNA Results Are In!

After my D&E on Feb 26th, the doctor ordered DNA testing on the fetus so we could get some answers about why I’ve had three miscarriages. He said the results would come back in two weeks.

Over a month later, I still hadn’t heard anything, so I called the genetic counselor. Another two weeks later, I called again and asked if there was anything I could do to speed things up. She said, “Oh, yes, you could call the doctor who ordered the test.” Now why didn’t she tell me that before???

After that, I got the results within a day. (I gave the nurse an exaggerated sob story about how we needed that data before we could TTC again after our miscarriage. Sue me… I was sick of waiting.)

So the results are: the fetus WAS a carrier of Fragile X, but the mutation hadn’t expanded, so that was NOT the reason the baby died. The real issue was Trisomy 9. From what I can tell from Dr. Google and from the genetic counselor, Trisomy 9 is thought to be completely random, so there isn’t any indication that it will happen again. It is rare and almost always results in first trimester miscarriage.

My RE appears to have been right that while my risk of having a severely affected Fragile X child is small, Fragile X has made my egg quality so poor that my babies are very likely to have OTHER chromosomal issues.

While it’s somewhat comforting that there was a concrete reason for my miscarriage, now I’m scared. What if our next baby has a major chromosomal issue and none of the tests catch it? ❤

A House, A Child, And A Viola: Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

Well, after my last post about Moving Forward, it appears that throwing away all those empty vials of medicine really did give me some respite from the otherwise constant stress of infertility. There have been days I haven’t thought about it at all. There have also been moments when the idea of taking care of a kid totally exhausts me and I start wondering if we should just count our blessings and scrap the baby-making entirely.

AF arrived and now we’re back to TTC naturally, but without thinking about it too much. I finally got my new insurance card in the mail yesterday, so it’s time to set up my next appointment with the RE to start IVF #5.

With some of my mental capacity freed up from infertility, I made a huge decision: I am upgrading my viola. This might not sound like such a big deal, but fine instruments are so expensive that most professionals have to choose between a viola and a house. No joke. We are talking about going from the viola I bought in college for $10k (by scraping together scholarship money and working every summer in a crappy office job) to an instrument costing possibly TEN TIMES that or more. (If you think that’s expensive, check out this article about a $45 million Stradivarius viola coming up for auction this. June). With all the fertility business going on, it has always seemed like the wrong time for a nice viola, but with the help of my therapist, a good friend, our financial advisor, and of course K (and his new better-paying job), I finally admitted that a new viola is not just something I want, it’s something I NEED and more importantly, DESERVE for both my career and my soul. (More on these thoughts at a later date.) We’ll probably take out a 30-year loan for musicians and pay anywhere from $300 to $550/month after a down payment. It’s a major commitment.

Interestingly, making a financial decision like this is based a whole lot on faith that our fertility journey is going to work itself out without any more giant expenses. But I feel surprisingly fine about that. We can still handle some additional financial curveballs, but this is my very brave way of saying that my life goes on -happily!- without children. I am allowed to make a major business decision without my kids, and I don’t have to choose between them and a viola. ❤