Friday, May 16, 2008

A trip down memory lane

I've never been so afraid to POAS before. Let's recap:

- Natural cycles 1-20 or so: By paying attention to my body during the luteal phase for the first time and wasting dozens of hours (possibly days) reading early-pregnancy-symptom posts on the Internets, I consistently convinced myself that I was pregnant, and thus peed on sticks with increasing desperation/sadness from about 9dpo onward. If I had taken the money spent on HPTs and invested it in Warre.n Buff.ett's Hatha.way, where each share currently runs about $120,000 (or what I have probably spent on HPTs - what a racket!), I would be wintering in Fiji by now. Oh, sure, you could claim I ought to have learned and not continued to indulge my hopeless fantasies of pregnancy, but I guess I was just the O.bama of POAS back then.

- IVF#1: We had transferred one CRAP blastocyst, so I knew it was going to be BFN, and I just POAS to get it over with. Out of habit, I may have tested more than once, but I really didn't have any hope that round -- I'd lost it all the moment we showed up for ET and were told the sorry results of our embryo culture. And, you see, I already had years of desperately things like "late implantation BFP 18dpo" behind me, and I therefore managed to put away the pee sticks after some reasonable point.

- IVF#2: I'm not sure why/how, but on this cycle I convinced myself that my two 3-day embryos had implanted, and I imagined numerous "symptoms," such as bigger b00bs, noticeable veins in b00bs, cramps, and a hard lower abdomen. I figured out later that the reason I had felt a hard lower abdomen was that I had been clenching my abdominal muscles at the time. What a moron. Anyway, because I was so "symptomatic," I peed on LOTS of sticks. And when I say LOTS, I mean a number higher than 10, possibly higher than 20. For a failed cycle, that gets expensive and really just adds (self-inflicted) insult to injury.

- FET#1: I decided to POAS a couple of days before my official test just to get the bad news over with. Back then, my clinic had you bring in a cup of your own pee (always fun to drive around with), and they'd basically put in their own stick (or, actually stick-equivalent, since I think it was round or diamond-shaped or something) to see if it came up positive, and only then would they deign to draw blood. Now everyone gets a real beta, it seems, which makes me feel like I can fit in much better with people who go to other clinics. Anyway, I really had NO expectations that it had worked, and I almost hyperventilated when I saw the double lines for the first time in my life. (As an aside, I had toyed with the idea of peeing after trigger in a fresh cycle just to see what the double lines looked like, but I decided that I wasn't quite there yet. I'd seen double lines on OPKs, so I embraced that as my lame substitute.)

Which brings us to where we sit now: in the dark. I don't think this FET worked, maybe because despite the fact that I tried to replicate everything about the successful cycle, I had given away my Anji CD to a fellow IVFer and forgotten about that until it was too late to order another one, and I therefore failed to listen to it this time, and perhaps my failure to visualize my lining growing and my blastocyst implanting has caused everything to go FUBAR internally (I am, after all, fully capable of anxiously turning my intestines to jelly or preventing myself from sleeping even though I'm really, really tired. I also feel empathetic nausea when someone describes to me his/her own nausea, and sometimes if someone (usually my husband) tells me he/she just took a dump, it makes me need to take one, too. TMI - live with it!). But I am also kind of looking for symptoms, in spite of myself, and occasionally I think I've found one, and then it goes away. Or it turns out to be something like the hard abdomen. And I am also very aware of the fact that it's really that makes most of the early symptoms happen, and we IVF gals are shooting that shit up daily in high doses.

So I guess that's why I'm afraid to POAS -- because I have that feeling of hope/desperation again. Even though I shouldn't. I mean, I have my boy now, and I also have a fresh cycle with my beloved clinic scheduled for next month if needed. A kid and a plan -- really good stuff for infertiles. If I never have another kid, I would still feel enormously lucky every remaining day of my life. (Uh, but that doesn't mean I don't still feel SEETHING jealousy/rage when a friend of mine gets pregnant easily; boy, do I. A fertile friend of mine is now pregnant with #2 seven months after #1's debut. On purpose, at least. But why the rush? I almost felt it was a personal affront to me and her other close friend who's had several miscarriages in trying for #2. Fertile friend, who knows I'm cycling around now, keeps saying it'll be fun to be pregnant together. I feel as if that will anger the capricious fertility gods and jinx everything. But I digress.) I guess I just got attached to that beautiful blastocyst, and I want it still to be there. Or something.

Armchair psychological/psychiatric analyses welcome. And thank you very much for your advice and support already.

PS: I did purchase a bunch (9) of HPTs yesterday at CVS, and acquisition is a necessary step towards POAS, of course. I'd thought I had some in stock, but when I checked I realized that OF COURSE I had peed on every stick in the house when I'd finally seen the double lines.

PPS: After I first posted this, I remembered that I DREAMED about POASing last night. I dreamed that it took place at the clinic and involved an 8x11" piece of paper, which then said something like "hopefully positive." I was so happy. Then I woke up and was happy for about five seconds before realizing it was a dream. Those sorts of dreams are my least favorite. I almost prefer the ones where something really bad is happening -- like that I accidentally killed someone or got a really unflattering haircut -- and then you get to feel sweet relief upon awakening.


Bella said...

It is just hard after your first real success. It is kind of like you are on the threshhold of "oh, that was easy" (relatively, of course) or "here we go again, no easy trip for me!" It took 6 fresh IVFs to get to my first child and I was hoping that we had somehow found the secret formula,and it would be easy thereafter. My twins, born 5/10/07 (found you on cyclesista!) took four more fresh IVFs. The first failure put me before square one, because I knew what it could take to get there again.

VanillaDreams said...

I suppose this is too late now, but I just wanted to mention that Anji Online offers digital downloads now (like iTunes) so you can click, purchase, and download your "CD" within seconds. Then, transfer it to your iTunes and iPod and listen away. ;)

I can't help you with the "trying after success" thing, of course, since I've had 3 pregnancies and 3 miscarriages. Pee sticks are an evil bitch, that's for sure. I hope it works out for you! Good luck!


Thalia said...

oh yes, i've had those dreams, both ways round. They're not very happy-making, either way.

Hoping for quick relief to your stress level, with a great outcome

TLB said...

Yes, I really hate those positive-pregnancy dreams too, and waking up to the real stinking world.

Wish I were going to hang out this weekend. We could bitch about your fertile friend together.