My mom is visiting us for a few days so I’ve been spending some quality time with her. She knew that I was doing IUIs but I hadn’t told her about endo and the surgery. There was no point in worrying her since she lives a few thousand miles away and there was nothing she could do.
I wasn’t planning on telling her about the surgery but after my negative pregnancy test for the 4th IUI, I broke down. I tested in the morning and after crying a little bit in my room, went over to hers and started bawling. I had been a little short with her since she came to visit and I think she then understood why I’ve been in such a bad mood.
Monday night was my first menopur injection. After 4 failed Letrozole cycles, I wanted to do something different and Dr. S put me on a Letrozole + Menopur combo this cycle. Man, that Menopur stings!!! I first thought I was just pushing the needle into my stomach too hard or something but after last night, I realized it’s the Menopur itself that hurts when it’s going in. I can’t believe I have another injection and possibly more after an u/s tomorrow.
Anyway, Monday night after my injection, my mom told me a shocking story that’s not been able to leave my mind. I could have been not-an-only-child. By now I could have had a 10 year old sister or brother. I probably will not be here where I am. My life would have been so much different. But did I just hear her right? I could have not been an only child!
My mom found out she was pregnant at the age of 49. Yes, 49. She turns 60 this year so that’s 11 years ago.
A little bit of my family history. My dad is the eldest of 5 siblings. He has one sister, 4 brothers. My dad had just me, a girl. His younger brother (who passed away 10 years ago) has 2 girls. His younger brother has 3 girls. Get the drift???? My grandmother, who of course is the traditional old Asian grandma, had exactly 6 granddaughters and no grandsons. Wait, that’s not true. My aunt has two boys. But that doesn’t count. It’s needs to be her son’s son! Finally afters years and years, her youngest son gave her a grandson. That’s not to say my grandma doesn’t like her granddaughters. She practically raised my 3 cousins. But she’s always complained she was the only grandma in town who didn’t have a grandson.
So it was a big deal that my dad, the eldest son, only had one, a girl. My mom told me they had been trying for years, never used protection, but just didn’t conceive after me. I was born a day before their first wedding anniversary so I think she never thought it’d be hard to conceive the second one. But it never happened, until 23 years after she had her first.
Suffice to say, my sister or brother was never born. My mom had caught the flu and took some strong flu medicine without knowing she was pregnant. Given some family history (my cousin on my mom’s side has some mental issues), they didn’t want to take the chance and had to terminate the pregnancy.
So yea, I could have had a sibling. It’s a big deal for me. I was always branded the only child. I was, and am, envious of friends who are close to their siblings. I am envious of DH and SIL for being such good friends.
So where does that leave me? I don’t know what my mom’s diagnosis would have been if she went through infertility treatments but looks like it might run in the family. Dr. S did ask me about family history with infertility during our first consultation. Will it take me 23 years to conceive? Hopefully not. I don’t know what to think of the sibling that might have been. But for now, let’s think of my baby that could be.
On a August Tuesday morning, I went in for a laparoscopy. I won’t go into too much details about the surgery. All I know is that what we thought was mild endometriosis was actually stage III. There was a lot of scar tissue. He also found a 3cm fibroid. He left that alone as he says it will not impact infertility (or fertility).
I went in for surgery around 6:45am and I think we came home before noon. I went straight for bed and gave my approval for DH to do some work. He did take the day off, told his boss that I was going into surgery but what was he going to to anyway? I was still very
high drowsy from the anesthesia so I slept for a few hours. I felt really good when I woke up but my throat still hurt A LOT from the tubes they stuck down my throat. DH made me some chicken noodle soup and I managed to eat some soup minus the noodles and chicken. I watched some videos on netflix and slept a little more.
The next day I would say was the worst day of the recovery process. When I woke up, I felt like my entire body had been beaten with a bat. I couldn’t pull myself up as my abs were so weak. I sent an email to my boss right away saying I felt worse than yesterday and that I would not be working at all (even turn on my laptop to answer a couple emails, which I had originally planned to do). For anyone scheduled for a lap, I would suggest that you definitely take that second day off as well, make sure anything you need is arm’s length away and be prepared to be in pain.
Dr. S prescribed me ibuprofen (for pain & inflammation) as well as some narcotics. I didn’t want to take the strong meds and was hoping to avoid it. But that second day was so horrible that I did end up taking a dose or two of it. Thursday and Friday was better and I did work a bit. By the weekend, I was able to go out, take a stroll around the mall with DH.
I have 2 scars (the 3rd one is my belly button and can’t really tell it was operated on) in my low abdomen, right above my pelvic bones. I can’t see it at all with pants on but with underwear, it does peak out a little. I plan to be in a bikini in Hawaii in couple weeks but I’m not too worried about the scar. It is about an inch long and I don’t see it going away anytime soon though.
Reading up on endometriosis, it does come back for most (if not all) women. So if I’m not pregnant in the next 4-6 months, we really won’t know for sure if the surgery worked and if endo was the reason for my infertility. The 4th IUI, same protocol as the first three did not work. I was so hopeful since it was our first after the lap. Now that we’re moving onto injectables, hopefully my ovaries will realize that if it doesn’t do its job properly, I will make it work even harder with some crazy meds.
Let this 5th IUI be on last PLEASE. I don’t know how long I can keep going on a schedule that I can’t control, be bitter about any pregnant people I see at work, on the streets and especially on facebook. I want to stop being bitter. I want to stop blocking friends with babies. I want to plan for my maternity leave.
(taking a break from my long stories…)
My 5th medicated cycle is about to begin. I say ‘about to’ because my AF is late. I’ve been spotting for the last few days but no full flow. It’s annoying. AF late for us IF girls should mean good news. In my case, I’m not pregnant but my body after my lap is going haywire.
I met with Dr. S yesterday. I thought some point during yesterday AF would start so I went in to see him to discuss this new cycle. He suggested we do another cycle of Letrozole and if that doesn’t work, we can move onto injectables. I cringed and said I’m ready to move on. We’ve done 4 cycles of the same thing, although it was only my first after treating my endo, I want to do something different. Doing the same thing over and over again that didn’t work just seemed stupid. No offense, Dr S.
I asked about DH’s numbers. He said they aren’t great but it’s okay. It was 2M post wash. If it got any worse, he would send us to IVF, which he does not do. There’s another doctor in his practice (they co-own it I think) who when we met with him for our last IUI because it was a Sunday and he was on call, said if it didn’t work this time, he would send DH to an oncologist. I know different doctors have/can have varying opinions but I’m a little pissed mine is not proactive about this. I like the other doctor but he’s solid booked, and does not take any new patients. I like Dr. S but I am losing faith in his ‘it’s a matter of when for you’ statement.
Even though AF hasn’t come full force, he said yesterday would be CD 1 since I’m spotting and start taking Letrozole. And then starting Sunday I would do Menopur injections for 3 days and come in for an ultrasound. I asked to push that out a day so I would start CD 2 (according to him but I’m not starting my count until AF comes full force) and I would go in for an u/s Thursday.
This is going to be a tricky cycle. I am scared of needles and DH and I have been struggling to get just one needle in me (HSG trigger) per cycle. Now we have 3 so far planned and Dr. S said we would probably need more.
Another worry I have is our planned vacation for Hawaii. We’re leaving on the 8th which is CD 16 (if we count yesterday as CD1). I’ve always had my IUI before CD 14 until now but since AF is late and we’re on a new meds, I’m afraid I might miss my IUI. Punch holes in my tummy and no IUI? I’m not willing to give up my vacation so it’s either IUI or Hawaii. At this point, I’m taking Hawaii. Maybe medication and TI will work. Wishing for that miracle story.
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight’ Proverbs 3:5-6
My appointment that got me a tentative surgery schedule for the coming week was on Friday. The nurse who schedules these surgeries were supposed to call me that day but she didn’t. And of course they don’t work on weekends so I had to wait until Monday to find out if my surgery was indeed scheduled.
That weekend, we had DH’s family over for some bbq. DH loves steak, although if you look at him, he does not look like a person who enjoys any kind of food. He struggles to gain weight. Yup, you read that right, GAIN. A post on that later.
Anyway, we had his parents, his sister, and her husband over. They also have a dog so she was over, playing with ours. We were chitchatting in our kitchen when my SIL says… ‘So, we have some news. We’re pregnant!’
Believe it or not, by some miracle, we have not had any close friends or family, emphasis on close, DH’s or mine, announce pregnancies during the few months we started the IF journey. I can not, even to this day, explain the emotions the moment I heard the news.
See, she and I have a lot of things in common. She got married in 2010. We got married a year and half later in 2012. She’s only 4 months older than I am. My hubby traveled for work. So did hers. In fact, they worked for the same company. We talked about raising a family during a ski trip a couple years ago and she and I were on the same page: that we wouldn’t want to start a family until our husbands stopped traveling and found a more stable job. DH quit his job and found a job where he wouldn’t need to travel every week just last year. That’s when we seriously started trying. Her husband quit his job just a couple months ago and found a new local job. So silly me, I didn’t think they were trying.
She was 12 weeks in. Her due date is March. She even knows the name of the baby if it were a girl. I smiled through our conversation, congratulated them, talked about clothing brands that carry maternity clothes. I thought I did a good job. Then, I went outside to see how DH was doing with his steak on the grill.. he hugged me, and I fell apart. I cried in his arms for a few minutes. I cried a lot. I had cried a couple times before that but not this much. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t cry through this IF journey. I promised I would be strong. I wasn’t strong enough to handle this.
Don’t get me wrong, I really really like my SIL. We get along very well. Our families have dinner /lunch/bbq together quite often. My in laws live 5 minutes away. SIL lives 20 minutes away. I talk to her more often than DH does. That all changed the moment she announced her news.
The next morning, during church, I got an email from her. Apologizing if her news upset me and that she didn’t know what I was going through. Offered to talk whenever I wanted to. It was very sweet of her. But I cried reading that email. Cried during the service, cried on the way home, cried a bit more after we got home. It took me more than an hour to write up a 4 sentence reply to her email. I didn’t know what to say. I think I wrote something like ‘I’m happy for you, it wasn’t your news that was upsetting…’ What was upsetting was that while she plans out her pregnancy, impending baby and growing her family, I was about to go into surgery in a few days. It couldn’t have been the worse timing. But of course I couldn’t say that to her.
After the 3rd failed IUI, I met with Dr. S. I had two options:
- Switch over to injectables. Means closer monitoring, more office visits etc.
- Laparoscopy to check & take care of possible endometriosis
He laid out the pros and cons for both options.
Doing surgery right now will rule out possibility of endo as our reason for infertility. BUT he’s suspecting endo and endo can only be diagnosed through surgery. There’s a chance I might not have endo. I’ve also read online that if it’s mild endo (stage 1), some doctors choose not to do surgery since it might just aggravate the ovaries which seem to be producing fine eggs for me.
Switching over to injectables without a lap means I still have the lingering possibility of endo as our cause. Injectables might not work and after 3 more of those if I’m still not pregnant, he’s going to suggest surgery anyway.
When I went into the appointment, I was ready to tell him I’m going to wait another month to do the surgery. I walked out of the appointment with a tentative surgery date for the week after.