And then the downsweep

Good day yesterday, not-so-good day today. Sigh. I feel like a zombie, and my back is killing me. I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. Or like I have PMS times eight million. Work is nearly impossible. The up and the down. I have to commit to being on the up and the down. This is part of what is going to happen for the next several weeks. No matter how much better my coping skills are now, I will have to abide this rollercoaster, I know. I want the rollercoaster to be over now, but it can’t be. Whenever I have an upsweep, I need to say to myself: I have to accept the up and the down. And not expect it to stay up. To let go of control: that is the most important thing. And accept what is.

It is one of those days–pregnant bellies everywhere, people talking about their due dates. I called a hospital for some information on a resident and the on-hold message was all about their maternity ward.

I just walked out to the far perimeter of the grounds, sat under a tree, and cried. There was a tiny green caterpillar crawling inside the cigar-shaped loop of a dead leaf, and I stared at it, trying to regain control.

I couldn’t sleep last night and found myself reading a book on shamanism, Soul Retrieval, about the soul fragmented through trauma and how to make it whole again. I’m also reading Pema Chodron’s Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. I glimpsed the children’s book I had the nerve to buy before this treatment, in my hope and optimism, on top of our filing cabinet this morning. No, not time for that book yet. More Chodron. More trauma survival. I…I just don’t know what to say about that.

I’ve been listening closely to my body. No change in that drastic change. No more sense of the HCG rising, and menstrual-like feelings and backache in its place. It’s the same script I’ve been through before many times. Ever since the change began, I began the process of letting go. Tomorrow is my ultrasound with Dr. San Roman, early a.m., and I hope I can face it with strength. Of course there is some sliver of me that entertains the miracle story—but when I do, I feel like I am betraying myself, my hard-earned self-knowledge and body-knowledge gained from past experiences, and it’s like striking a dissonant chord on a piano. But I am, in any case, allowing a small opening for a miracle.

Tonight, no matter how horrible I feel, I am going to make gluten-free oatmeal cookies. I promised myself that today I would do at least one life-affirming, positive thing. And then I’ll have them with me tomorrow, to help me get through the day.

Leave a comment


  1. sorry you aren’t feeling as great today. we will be thinking of you tomorrow and hoping for you!!!

  2. SG

     /  October 14, 2013

    Hello my beautiful friend, you are so strong and I think your cookie plan is brilliant, something to do for today that will give you support for tomorrow. Whatever happens, I am behind you all the way, and always praying for miracles. (I figured I should start using the comments section for a change.)

  3. Amanda

     /  October 14, 2013

    I’m sorry today was bad. Miracles happen. I’m hoping you get one tomorrow.

  4. chris

     /  October 14, 2013

    This may sound awkward but I admire you for making the cookies. To me, it speaks volumes.

  5. Thinking of you my dear friend. You are so strong and beautiful. Continuing to lift you up. XOXO

  6. Thinking about you this am and praying for strength. You are a courageous woman. Big hugs.

  7. Kali

     /  October 15, 2013

    Your strength is still inspiring me. This is the roller coaster where we don’t choose to get on. We also don’t know the length of the ride.

    Imagine if you were waiting in line at an amusement park and these were the terms. No way.

    My friends in my weekly infertility support group liked your post on How to Listen very much. I will report back if my best friend reads it and comments–I sent it to her because my journey has severely strained this heretofore unassailable friendship.

    Thank you again for sharing. You are lighening the burden for me, and likely many others, simply by allowing us to share.

    • You’re kind. I’m glad. Maybe I should write a whole book on how to listen. A guidebook for friends and family. You know? It is so needed. xo

  8. Your strength and courage is admirable. I know how hard this road is. Here’s hoping those oatmeal cookies can lift your spirits a bit…nothing like a little home baked goodness to warm the heart. Much love to you.

  9. Hope your appt went well. Sorry you’re feeling down. Hopefully those oatmeal cookies helped.


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  • Posts By Month


  •© the unexpected trip,, 2012-2017.
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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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