Relief

What is happening now:

  • We found the perfect program for S to start in the fall. It is my dream school! Very earthy. Our values. I participated in a day and I didn’t want to leave—that slow pace, enjoying the outdoors, forming relationships, was healing for me. S was in heaven. More on this later, but in short: This was a gift. We were on the waitlist with little hope. And then: the email. The visit. The rapid succession of good things. The peace it gives me to know that he is going to participate in something so enriching, and to know that I will have enough time to revamp my career in earnest, is invaluable.
  • My health: Wellbutrin for my head and Prilosec for my GI system, my friends. Wellbutrin is a strange drug! It doesn’t feel like I’ve taken anything at all. I just feel steadier and happier. More on this later, but I’ll just say that I realized there was no point in waiting any longer. (Thanks for the nudges, commenters. You were right.)
  • Two or three times a week of aerobic exercise at the gym. Ahhhhhh…my poor body was hurting! And I’m curing it, slowly, with oxygen and movement.
  • Got a mouthguard and my jaw pain and headaches are pretty much gone! So simple!
  • My esophagus: I was terrified, and still am a little, about something going on. This dates back to 2003. I will write an entire post about it. I have an endoscopy coming up at the end of the month and would appreciate vibes, prayers, or whatever you have.
  • My anxiety, fears of death, and recurrent miscarriage PTSD: I am much better now, but there were days  I couldn’t get out of fight-or-flight mode. I had flashback-like experiences. Not actual flashbacks, but acute memories of being “on the table” hearing no heartbeat, acute memories of feelings and thoughts. Racing thoughts about things being very wrong with my body. Terrifying thoughts about dying young. I found myself saying, I can’t have my baby, the universe won’t let me have my baby, the universe is going to take me away from him. Which are the exact type of thoughts I used to have when experiencing the pregnancy losses. I can’t have my baby, the universe is going to take my baby away from me. A few days and nights in a row I was shaky. It felt exactly like it did during recurrent miscarriage hell. Tears would come to my eyes as I kissed my boy’s head because I thought, What if I die and have to leave him? What will happen to him? My fears had mostly to do with what has been going on with my esophagus and throat. I fought with the University of Michigan to dig up my old health records from 2003, because I lost them long ago, and they finally found them and emailed them to me—and what I saw put me at ease! So. I am much better now. But still nervous about the upcoming scope.
  • Sidenote: I’d like to write much more about how health scares, any kind, often bring back recurrent miscarriage fears, anxieties, inconsolable sadnesses. Probably always will. It’s good to be aware of what is happening.
  • Money: I love you all for your helpful advice. Thank you sincerely. My head was spinning. Now it is not. Now I am using this iphone App that keeps track of expenses and I can’t get over how easy it is! No more late nights with receipts. Now that we’ve been at this budgeting thing for a few weeks, we are already learning how to save money. It’s like writing down everything you eat in a day in an effort to lose weight. My spending habits are slowly changing. We are learning how to lower our grocery bill—two weeks in a row, it has been less than we projected. And DH is packing lunch almost every day, which saves us enough to have a modest meal out or two. It’s working. I’m a little worried about how preschool costs are going to impact us in “real life,” but we’ve put it in the budget and it at least looks like we’ll be okay. Small steps, but I think we’re heading in the right direction.
  • DH and I have been getting along much better. We’ve been affectionate with each other, sweet and nurturing.

That’s the Relief Update, for now. I’ll keep you posted on how things progress. I have a lot of doctor’s appointments coming up, targeting health issues, and it’s my hope that by the end of it, I’ll have more self-care tools, and less worry. In the meantime, I’m drinking 1 cup of 1/2 caff a dat and no alcohol, tomatoes, citrus, and so on, to keep acid and inflammation low. I did find a study online that said drinking one glass of wine a day is actually associated with fewer esophageal problems! Well, hot damn. Still, I’ll be safe for now. I told myself that if I can’t go a month without drinking alcohol, then that’s kind of ridiculous. More soon, all. And thanks again.

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5 Comments

  1. Wow wonderful updates! I love that you found a school for S. It sounds like such a great match. And you are doing everything you can to make yourself feel better emotionally and physically! What amazing changes! So happy for you. Good luck with all the medical appointments. <3

    Reply
  2. Dr Selkna Nair

     /  August 17, 2016

    If you’re worried about oesophageal malignancy, it’s highly unlikely if you had remitting/relapsing symptoms since 2003.
    Hope the endoscopy provides more reassurance but to be blunt you would be one of the longest surviving patients if it was something sinister, possibly the longest ever recorded.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, no, it’s not that I think I’ve had cancer for 13 years! It’s something I forgot the diagnosis of and something I should have followed up but didn’t and my current doctors are somewhat concerned.

      Reply
  3. The preschool sounds so neat! I read about a program like that based in Seattle years ago, and I was smitten with the idea then. How lucky! Glad to hear of these other adjustments and that the chaos is dying down into the beginnings of a happy routine.

    Reply
  4. Glad you were able to get S into the school you’d hoped! Sounds like lots of (good) adjustments and changes right now. Will be sending thoughts for the scope to go well.

    Reply

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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

    DOR
    Abnormal embryos

    Blood:
    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

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

    History:

    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

    Protocol:
    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
    Zoloft
    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:
    Pregnant

    Protocol:
    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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