Things have been quiet in Purgatory these last few days, but not because I don't have anything to say or anything going on. There's been too much of both: too much to think about, too much to plan, too much to do, too much to feel, and not enough time to do it all in.
Some of it has been dull: grading 40 papers and teaching classes and running three Junior League meetings in the span of a week.
But some of it has even been good.
On Sunday, Lawyer Guy and I cooked a Fakesgiving feast for most of my family (my parents, two of my sisters, and one sister's fiance). We used our All-Clad turkey roaster for the first time and made our very first turkey, a 12-pounder that turned out perfectly, succulent and juicy and golden brown. Go us! We also made two kinds of stuffing (sausage & sage and caramelized onions & herb), pureed sweet potatoes with molasses butter, roasted brussel sprouts, green beans in a mustard-bacon sauce, arugula salad with roasted butternut squash and cranberries, kale chips and fennel parmesean dip as appetizers, and a caramel cake for dessert. And we made every bit of it from scratch (except a pumpkin pie, which we bought, and the gravy, which my mom made). We had bourbon/apple cider cocktails and champagne and it was a great time, even if it took us four hours to do all the dishes (we did them together while I simmered a turkey-carcass stock in our giant 12-quart stock pot).
This was all made more difficult, though, by the fact that I had--and still have--a really nasty headcold: sore throat, hacking cough, sinus pressure, stuffy nose. We were supposed to go up to West Point with my family on Saturday for the Army-Air Force game, but my cold was at its worst so I stayed home to rest up and ideally recuperate. I am doing better now, but am still pretty uncomfortable. I'd love to take a sick day from teaching, but I've had to use them all for fertility related appointments.
Which, speaking of, I had another one of on Monday morning (CD 10). I'd been feeling really disconnected from this cycle--I feel like I'm still getting over the disappointment of the chemical pregnancy and haven't been enthusiastic or engaged in this current cycle at all. I also wasn't feeling the same intense ovarian reactions that I did last time (despite starting the Clomid three days earlier) so I wasn't terribly optimistic about how things would be going.
Turns out, I know my body pretty well: I had one (count 'em, one) follie at 14 mm on my left ovary. Nothing else over 10 on either side.
I know one is better than none. And I'm glad that my lining was at 6.9, which seems okay for CD 10. But I couldn't get a good pregnancy out of last cycle, and I had two follies then. I don't have much hope for one. Plus--I fully admit this is irrational--both times I've gotten pregnant it's been from my right ovary. I have this feeling that the left is not capable of stepping up to the task (then again, both those pregnancies didn't last, so maybe the left side would have a better track record in that regard). I go back tomorrow morning for more monitoring, to see how things have progressed. Dr. Wonderful suspected the IUI would go forward this weekend, but she said if there hasn't been any progress at my next appointment, they'll give me another dose of Clomid and the egg will drop the weekend afterward. I'm feeling some sensations in both ovaries, so I suspect that some growth will have occurred, though I obviously can't predict how much.
After the ultrasound, Dr. W. sat and talked with me for about ten minutes about last cycle and how I'm feeling about everything. She is so amazing. She told me she definitely views last cycle's outcome as a positive. She said she knows that the psychological torture of waiting is the hardest part in all of this and encouraged me to embrace my hobbies and do whatever I can to help distract me during this time. She also said "There is light at the end of the tunnel. You are going to be pregnant." I really love working with her and I'm so glad we followed our instincts and chose her.
I've been a little freaked out, though, I have to confess, and it's entirely my own fault. I asked Dr. W. what comes next if this cycle doesn't work. While she said that she wants to go one cycle at a time and not get ahead of ourselves, she still gave me an indication of what she's thinking will follow: one more Clomid+IUI and then...IVF!
Ah! Those letters! They strike fear into my heart.
Now, Dr. W. said she would advocate for IVF as the next step because she fears the risk of triplets is too great for my case if we do IUI + injectibles. But she also said we'd have to talk about everything before making decisions about what to do. And I know how kind and lovely she is--if we tell her we're just not ready for IVF I think she'd let us make an attempt with injectibles/IUI just to see how it goes. And she's right, triplets are not an ideal outcome. My anxiety would be off the charts if I were pregnant with three babies, plus I'd likely have to be on bed rest for a very long time, which has complications of its own. And then, you know, three babies.
But the risk of triplets is only three percent (which doesn't sound like much to me). And everything in an IVF cycle (meds+procedure) would be out-of-pocket for us. We're financially capable of doing IVF at this stage, but not financially prepared: the lovely In-Case-of-Baby cushion we've rebuilt over the two years since buying our apartment would be reduced by jumping into an IVF. We'd need to talk about this a lot and save more money and possibly chat with our parents before embarking on such a step.
I'm also not even close to psychologically prepared. I still, if you can believe it, don't actually think of us as infertile! There are still many times when I think to myself that all this happened because I worried too much and put too much pressure on Lawyer Guy at the beginning and couldn't take things easy and (yup, here it comes) just relax.
I just have to cross my fingers and hope that one of these Clomid cycles will be the trick for us. I'll just have to pray that poor Lawyer Guy can hang on to his ever-fraying confidence and sanity and endure just a little bit longer. During a phone chat with him on Monday, I reassured him that "We are going to be such great parents because of going through this, and we are going to be so unbelievably happy because of how sad we are now."
And he replied, "Yeah, we've been telling ourselves that for almost two years."
So my consolations are a little thread-bare and my hope is definitely dented and my heart is very bruised. But my doctor says there's a light at the end of the tunnel and some days I almost think I can see it.