Tubes for daaaaaays

Spent the past two mornings at my favorite place, aka the Fertility Specialist, aka Fert Spesh.  Actually no, I don’t really call it that.

Yesterday I finally had a meeting with the counselor that works for the practice.  They had been telling me about her since circa October, and at first said I’d receive a call from her to schedule.  Then gave me her number to call myself.  And I just simply didn’t.  No real reason.  I just couldn’t find the time, but was looking forward to going actually.  I went to therapy about once a month when living in Rhode Island and really enjoyed it.  Just the act of unloading all your stress and thoughts onto an impartial audience was quite nice.  But when I moved out of RI, I just never found another one.  Given everything going on it was certainly apropos to go back.

For those of you wondering, she did employ the 45 degree head tilt method.  But lucky for her, I was already crying walking down the hallway to her office, so she cannot be blamed.  As soon as I got into the building, the tears started welling.  Mostly because I knew that I was going to have to recap the whole shebang for her and was not excited about it.

Overall the session was good, and we booked a few others.  I’ll bring the hubs aka Kenny, aka Brown Sugar-Yes, I actually do call him that sometimes ;)-to the next one.  But she asked not so much about the medical happenings, but about how I have handled everything emotionally-work, friendships, relationship, personal well being, and overall enjoying life.  On a scale from 1-10, I told her, I feel like I’m about at a 2.5 on those categories.

Work. I feel like I am getting things done.  But I don’t feel confident I am working to my utmost ability.  I’d consider myself a “high achiever” so when I don’t see the results I am expecting, I definitely internalize that I am not producing at the level I expect from myself.  So that has been difficult, but I keep talking myself into “giving myself grace”, that I am still working hard and pulling my weight in the team.  Hopefully.

Friendships.  I guess I should ask them?  LOL But I think that I’ve made a concerted effort to try and dedicate time to stay caught up with them and not be a shitty friend.  But I’ve had some pretty dark moments where I haven’t wanted to talk to anyone, and other times where I have definitely talked like the MicroMachines man incessantly about my drama. Selfissssh. But my friends are great, whether they can relate to this situation or not, and that I have appreciated now during this mess more than ever.

Relationship.  My quote to the counselor was “I think it has brought out the worst in me, and the best in Kenny.”  Which I do believe.  I’m what you might call an “Independent Woman”.  I tend to be part of team #GSD (Get Shit Done), and I don’t often need (or ask for) help from people.  So, when I am kind of pitiful and needing to be cared for, I think a part of Kenny actually enjoys it.  And I have needed him quite a bit during all of this.  He’s been doing his share and 3/4 of mine in overall household duties; cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry, etc.  So, basically I am a monster, and he is a dream. Even when I hate him for not knowing how to support me through my meltdowns (see: Resentment 101 lol).

Personal well being.  Questionable. I’ve mentioned before, but I definitely have a love hate relationship with my body.  I’d say 86% hate, 14% love. I’ve kind of yo-yo’ed with weight most of my adult life, always being pretty active, but ya girl loves to eat.  And my appetite is insatiable #ThanksGrannie.  But I did get her legs, so I think it’s a fair trade.  Anyway, in 2012 I got up one morning, weight myself, practically shat myself, and decided to GET MY LIFE TOGETHER.  That year I lost over 40 pounds doing quasi weight watchers on my own and Insanity.  And I maintained most of the weight loss and healthy habits through the wedding.  Before the wedding I went on a bride diet which was essentially a paleo/whole 30 thing.  It was a goddamn nightmare, but I sucked it up for the short term and it did work.  The bod was pretty bangin’ at the wedding.

I gained a few pounds when I got back but I wasn’t worried because I knew that would happen and didn’t plan on maintaining any type of non-dairy, grain, sugar diet for any length of time.  But with all this fertility drama I have definitely “tacked on some mass” as my brother would say.  One might say I’ve been eating all of my feelings:

And, on top of that there have been long stretches during my issues where I have not been allowed to workout.  Even had to stop teaching my fitness classes for a few weeks at a time.  So, the routine-totally effed.  I have actually being doing WW for the past 5 weeks with good success, just putting myself into a structure is where I live in my happy place. And with no structure or plan in any other part of what is happening, it’s been good. Working back up to the fitness level, but the struggle is beyond real on this front.

*The guilt of what I am eating or not eating and whether that helps or hurts my situation is also on a steady loop in my brain at practically all times. Totally “relaxed”.

Overall Enjoying Life. She talked a lot about even with the grief of pregnancy loss, it is important to find ways to enjoy life.  She asked how I was doing with that, and I basically said-meh.  I am just always running, running, running. From thing to thing to thing.  I love spending time with my friends, and getting together and going to shows, etc.  But I have felt over the past few months that I needed to force myself to slow down a bit, rest, recover, etc.  There have been moments of enjoying life for sure.  Lots and lots of welcome and great distractions.  But there have also been moments where I should be enjoying things, but I am just too sad.  Or someone will say something that they don’t know hurts and I am snapped out of the whole enjoyment factor.  I know she is right, so I am making a concerted effort on this one. I never knew enjoying life could be something I had to actually put work into.  I guess I am lucky there.

My second morning spent at FertSpesh (It’s so gross I might just keep using it), was spent in radiology with all kinds of contraptions shoved all up my business.  I had an HSG (Hysterosalpingograph) when there put a small catheter in through your cervix (parrrrrrrrty) and then shoot dye into your fallopian tubes and uterus to see if there are blockages.

I went in there thinking there would be a blockage and I would need surgery, even though I was hoping for the opposite.  My High School friend actually messaged me on FB after my last post and said she did end up having this surgery and got pregnant on her own right afterwards, so that did ease my fear of having it a little.  But the good news is, the tubes look clear.  Apparently, “everything falling out of them” is actually what you want to happen because nothing was impeding the journey.  So, as of now I am in the clear and moved on to the next step…

Waiting for my period to start shooting myself up.  Eek.  To be continued.


So, you wanna keep your tube?


Is that an actual question?

After the ectopic pregnancy was, as they call it, “resolved”, they scheduled us for a follow up appointment with our fertility specialist.  We went in not knowing exactly what to expect, but eager to find out our next steps to parenthood and making a plan.  I’m a big fan of plans. And, not a fan, when things do not go as planned.  So, needless to say this whole experience is not really working out for me. Haha.

Of course the appointment began with the well timed head tilt/how are you doing question which both together leads me to start balling every time.  What is with that look?  It just says “Awwww, you’re pitiful.” and automatically makes tears appear in my face where they have not been for a while now.  Especially when I go in there pretty optimistic and determined to make it through one appointment without casually sobbing in her office.  There’s something about that 45 degree angle head tilt that just messes with you.

*Side note.  Do you think she does that to every patient?  I mean, she is an infertility specialist.  So she only deals with sad trying-to-be-moms every day.  Is your head on a constant gangsta lean of pity all the time?  Or is it just because my scenario is particularly pitiful?  Or do you have a bet going of how many tears you can garner in one day?  Just curious.*

Anyway.  The appointment itself went fine.  Asking how I have been feeling since I got the go ahead to go back to my normal routine after the treatment.  Adding back in all of my vitamins, and an additional 800 mg of folic acid to build back up my reserve. Eating normal foods again, and not having to restrict myself to basically anything with no nutritional value.  Which is fun for a few days, but after essentially living on donuts and french fries for a couple of weeks you genuinely want to order salad three meals in a row.

Then we started talking about next steps.  We were kind of mentally doing IVF already.  Since our initial pre-op appointment for IVF was scheduled for March 3rd, we had determine before the ectopic that this was our best option at this point.  For those of you who are a little more novice regarding the wonderful world of fertility treatment here are some definitions for common treatment options for fertility issues:

Clomid: Clomid is a medication you can take to help you ovulate; to treat either not ovulating at all, ovulating too early or too late, or just irregularly.  It is often prescribed for women who have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which causes hormonal imbalances and can lead to difficulty getting pregnant on your own.

IUI: Intrauterine insemination is when you insert sperm into the uterus to increase the number of sperm that make their way into the fallopian tubs and subsequently increase the likelihood of fertilization.

IVF: In vitro fertilization is the process of extracting eggs, retrieving sperm, and manually fertilizing the eggs, then inserting the embryo back into the uterus.

While we discussed all possible options we ruled out Clomid and IUI based on our personal circumstances and history.  We knew I wasn’t having issues ovulating, nor were we having issues having eggs be fertilized based on our previous pregnancies, our issue was maintaining.  So, Clomid wasn’t necessarily going to help, but could lead to multiples based on the hormone increases, and multiples by nature are risky.  And since I was already deemed high risk, it didn’t seem like the best route.  IUI wasn’t going to help us since we had been able to fertilize eggs at least three times before February and therefore, and based on our tests we didn’t have sperm count or motility issues.

Based on that, IVF was the option we decided made the most sense to us.  With that, we also opted into Preimplantation Genetic Screening or PGS as part of the process.  PGS is when they take a tiny sample of cells from the embryos created during IVF to test their health.  Chromosomal abnormalities lead to about 60% of miscarriages.  (By the way 15% of known pregnancies and up to half of all pregnancies end during the first trimester.  It is so much more common than most people realize, but certainly does not make it suck any less.)  Since we have had the barrage of tests and have been determined to be “healthy” people with no known cause for infertility, our doctor feels pretty confident the losses were based on the embryos being abnormal.  Ectopic pregnancy, not included because that was a whole different animal. But PGS will ultimately allow us to implant an embryo that we know is healthy, and has no abnormalities which would likely lead to miscarriage.  This doesn’t mean miscarriage is not possible, it always is, but we believe doing the PGS is the best shot of a successful pregnancy for us.

Of course, this isn’t covered by insurance, unless it is determined that you or your partner carry specific genes they want to test for, which we don’t.  They typically won’t cover it.  We’ve already submitted it and had it denied.  And even after one of my infamous strongly worded letters of appeal, was still denied.  So we have to shell out between $2500 and $5000 for the testing.  It is based on the number of embryos they test.  They charge you for the average (7-8) at $3300 and give you money back if you have fewer to test, or (YAY! lol), bill you afterwards if you have more.

~Note:  I am BEYOND lucky that I am (A) employed and that (B) the insurance coverage at my employer is great, and that (C) the vast majority of any medical costs for ART (Assistive Reproductive Technologies) are covered. So, while I know many women and couples who have had to essentially take out a mortgage to do IVF, we are very grateful for what is covered by our insurance and privileged to be in that position.  While shelling out maybe up to $5000 for the testing is certainly a financial hardship, and something we have basically decided we will “find a way” to figure out, we know that in the scheme of costs associated with this shitty thing called infertility, ours is really nothing to complain about.  And being in a position where we can somehow cover the costs outside of what is handled by insurance is certainly a lucky one.  It’s nice to find the *luck* in a dark situation.

So, anyway, we made all these determinations in January after all of our tests were concluded. And in February were giving it our “last shot” of getting pregnant before we introduced science into the equation.  So, after the mess that we went through during that pregnancy, our plan was mostly just reinforced.

But, that was what made it upsetting when the doctor said “while having a miscarriage doesn’t technically make you more likely to have another one (I knew that part), having an ectopic pregnancy does make you more likely to have another ectopic (I knew that part too), and there is no research to prove that using IVF actually reduces your risk for an ectopic (WHAT. Didn’t know that part.)

I was pretty shocked to hear that.  To me, we were taking the guessing game out of it. No worry about when you’re ovulating, will the sperm get to the right place, will it travel in the right direction, etc., etc. We are just taking the healthy embryo and putting it exactly in the place it is suppose to be, problem solved right?  Nope.  Apparently not.  Theoretically it should reduce the risk, but there is no research showing that. So, after we legit signed our lives away on pages and pages of paperwork, similar to a mortgage which makes sense based on how much this all costs, the doctor just says casually , “So, do you wanna keep your tube?”

And it was like a 1980s DJ record scratch (yeah, kids, back in the day DJs actually used records to play music, look it up). Anyway, I was really caught off guard by the question itself, but also the casual nature.  As if she was asking me if I liked watching TV. Like, would you like to rip out one of your medically necessary for pregnancy body parts?  The doctor actually apologized for how it came out.  But when she explained it, I did understand the question.

My ectopic pregnancy was discovered in the ovary, so I never considered there being an issue with my tube.  But, what she explained was that most ectopic pregnancies happen in the tube and often because of tube related issues.  So, even though it looks like mine ended up attaching in the ovary, it was likely caused by the tube.  She described the tube as having tons of tiny little hairs that should be pointing the embryo in the right direction, but if there is a section that is pointing in the wrong direction then that could cause ectopic pregnancies in the future.  Or if there is an scar tissue from the last one, that could have the same result.

Causes of an Ectopic Pregnancy:

  • An infection or inflammation of the fallopian tube can cause it to become partially or entirely blocked.
  • Scar tissue from a previous infection or a surgical procedure on the tube may also impede the egg’s movement.
  • Previous surgery in the pelvic area or on the tubes can cause adhesions.
  • Abnormal growths or a birth defect can result in an abnormality in the tube’s shape.

So, I am actually going in this week to have a test which is described as totally comfortable and not painful at all (LIES).  They will put a little camera in there and take a look around to determine the health of the tube.  The idea of removing it is absolutely terrifying to me.  It would be a real surgery with real recovery time.  But also the idea of just not having one of my baby making parts feels awful.  Technically you can still conceive in the future naturally (in theory) with only one tube.  But is, for obvious reasons, less likely.  If I am being honest with myself, once we do IVF once successfully (because I am thinking positively here people!) we would likely do it again for a second pregnancy-If we have enough healthy embryos to do so.  So, the tube wouldn’t necessarily be a required component, lol.  But STILL.  If I can avoid a major surgery I would like to.  But, having gone through an ectopic pregnancy already, I know the shittiness of that journey and if that can be avoided that would be great too.  Actually removing the tube removes the majority of the risk of an ectopic during IVF or a what they call a spontaneous pregnancy. But I definitely don’t want to do that without knowing whether that would be necessary or not.

So, I am getting the scan done this week.  Taking lots of antibiotics to preemptively ward off any infection and hoping that she takes a look up in all my business and sees no reason to do any surgery.  I’d appreciate all the fingers crossed for that result.  In my head, if it is not absolutely required, I would likely want to give the IVF a shot once before any surgery.  But we will let the results of the test determine how we proceed, and hope for good, none-slice-and-dice results so that we can proceed with the IVF cycle starting in May as planned.

We have crossed the threshold in this blog from talking in the past tense mostly about things that happened in the recent or somewhat distant past, to discussing the present tense.  That is actually a little scary, to be honest, but here goes nothing!

Also, apologies for my delinquency in posting this past week.  There is this thing in higher education we call Maprilay.  It is the absolute insanity of events, work hours, and obligationss covering the end of March, April, and beginning of May which results in the months merging into one big blur of work and not really anything else!  And it got the best of me this week. But we are coming up on the conclusion of this mad time period in my profession, because:


Resentment 101

When this horrible shit starts happening to you, you begin to wonder why.  Why me? What did I do to deserve this?  What could I have done to prevent this?  And you begin the blame game.  Most of blame falls on yourself.  These are all the things I must have done to cause this.  And some of that comes from others’ quasi innocent comments about other people and their pregnancies or difficulties.  You start to internalize all of this stuff (of course this is just my experience, but I have had a few people tell me the same thing).

The other thing, in my case, was a rising sense of resentment.  The first level of resentment is aimed at all those around who you ‘seemingly’ are just getting pregnant by walking too close by their signif. And then poof, magic.  You aren’t unhappy for them (not your close friends/family at least!) but you’re just like WHAT THE EFFFFF.  Is everyone just full of eggs and follicles galore?  This is crap.  You find yourself not wanting to be around the preggo friends or the ones with little ones.  It’s just so emotional.  For me, I love babies and little nuggets of all kinds.  I always have.  So I want to be around them.  But after all this nonsense, it is both fun and hurts a great deal.  So it is difficult to support your people and also self-preserve at the same time. And that sucks.

For me it came and went.  But even though it is hard, mostly the joy of being around babies and kids eventually washed away the sadness or resentment feelings that were lurking.  Unless one of your friends announced they were pregnant (perhaps, again) while you were there visiting.  Then, it’s Mach 5 Resentment mode in full force.

The brunt of the resentment-thon has certainly been felt by the hubs.  We got married 6 years to the day we met.  We did 4+ years long distance RI and CT to NY before moving in together in Connecticut and getting engaged in 2014.  I was 33 when we got married and he was 34.  When we met I was the ripe old age of 27, TWENTY SEVEN.  I can’t even remember what it felt like to be an age that started with 2 at this point.  While we were dating we went through a lot.  Distance was challenging.  Kenny had a complicated and difficult career change.  Kenny’s mom was diagnosed with and beat (WOOOHOOO) breast cancer.  My dad had a bunch of health issues.  My brother came back from his second tour in Iraq and completed his Army contract.  You know, life.

But there were many a DTR convo, determine the relationship, for those of you who aren’t familiar with this acronym.  Kenny is, how shall I say this, slow and steady. 🙂  He doesn’t do a damn thing until he’s good and ready. And I mean GOOD AND READY.  About 4 years into the relationship we had already talked about marriage and family and future etc., but no action.  We had a difficult and emotional conversation where I said in perhaps a psychic or self-fulfilling prophecy kind of way, “if you wait so long to propose that by the time we get married I can’t have kids I’ll never forgive you.” Yeah. Like the straight up.  But I knew he was in no rush he would dilly dally until we were 47.  I am an efficient, action-oriented, do-er.  He is a thoughtful, meticulous, ponderer.  There is no sense of urgency.  Almost ever.  We are essentially polar opposites.  I am Red Sox, Iced Dunkin, red wine. He is Yankees, Starbucks Lattes, white wine.  If there’s a spectrum, we are on opposite ends.

But, it works for us.  He is the calm to my storm.  I get all worked up, and he is steady Eddy. It’s good most of the time.  But, this fertility drama has really tested us.  First of all, when I am a mess, whether it is sick or sad or whatever, he is the best.  When we were first together, this is one of the things that made me realize we were meant to be.  Because he just took care of me.  And it was lovely.

But, with this baby mess.  It’s harder.  I don’t know what I want or need.  It’s pain Ive never felt before.  He is the kind of person who wants me to spell out “H-E-R-E I-S E-X-A-C-T-L-Y W-H-A-T I N-E-E-D F-R-O-M Y-O-U”.  And when I can’t do that because I have no idea.  It is mass confusion.  Mostly something like this:

I am in the fetal position either on the bathroom floor or in the bed or the couch. He comes and sits by me and lets out some long sigh.  Sometimes he rests and arm or hand on me, sometimes I swat it off.  Sometimes he says nothing and that pisses me right the hell off.  Sometimes he tries to say something and it is definitely not the right thing.  Sometimes he doesn’t come upstairs fast enough.  It’s a lose, lose, lose.  I’m a psycho.

The biggest issue is the calmness.  I love it in basically every other scenario except this one.  It feels cold, distant, and medical.  I know that he is trying to be calm for both of us because I’m a hot mess.  But it feels like he is trying to be my doctor and has no actual feelings of his own during this horrendous experience.

But the hardest thing has been thinking “if only we got engaged, married, started trying, earlier” and not feeling just overall angry at him all the time.  BTW I know that is completely ridiculous and unfair, but this is the truth serum blog so I’m just keeping it real.  It has crossed my mind before.  If I knew I wanted to marry him after a year or so, why did it take another 4 for him to get that together?  And would we maybe have not had these issues if all this happened earlier?

Who knows.  This could have been our future regardless. But I keep thinking back to that DTR convo, I’ll never forgive you, and now that we are living it, I just keep hoping I was wrong.  I don’t actually blame him for this, at all.  But age is a real factor in fertility, no matter how much they tell you it’s not.  It doesn’t make it impossible, but it does make it harder.  So, the little thought does float through my brain from time to time.  And I have to push it out.  Because he’s my husband, and he’s in this fight with me, and this is his nightmare too, and there were many circumstances that played into our eventual marriage.

But resentment is a bitch, and can drag you into a sad, dark hole. So, try to talk yourself out of it.

And also, how can you be mad at this FACE. ❤


You know what’s cool about Methotrexate? Nothing. Part II.

Definitely recommend checking out Part I before reading this one! You know what’s cool about Methotrexate? Nothing. Part I

After getting my results of the HCG dropping on a Sunday, I figured it would be “business as usual”.  Go in again in 48 hours, see it’s still dropping, and that’s that.  But this time I had a fun new adventure (*sarcasm*).  I had to go back in on Tuesday to do more blood work, my Dr. was also out of the country on vacation this week so I was getting bounced around to covering doctors; all of whom were awesome by the way.  But just hard to be dealing with weirdness with people you don’t know.

Tuesday late afternoon I got a call from the office saying while my numbers had gone down slightly, they hadn’t dropped by much, which made them suspicious of a potential ectopic pregnancy-and essentially they just wanted to ‘rule that out’. An ectopic pregnancy is when an embryo implants in the wrong location, in the fallopian tube, ovary, etc.  It can be very dangerous because if the embryo continues to grow in the wrong spot, you could rupture.  So, they scheduled me for the next day to do an ultrasound and take a peek around…suuuuups pleasant experience by the way, def recommend it.  I wasn’t that worried, because I just assumed it was a precaution.

I went in there, spread eag, and the lady went about her business.  Checking out my insides aggressively with what I can only describe as essentially a light saber with lube on it.  Anyway, I am hyper-perceptive most of the time.  And I noticed her hanging out for significantly longer on one side than the other so I began to be suspicious.  Then she says “you can get dressed, actually, let me see if the doctor wants to come in and look first.” I was like, oh boy.

When I spoke with the doctor he showed me a mass in the area of one of my ovaries, it wasn’t clearly an embryo because I was still so early, but it was something.  And something I knew wasn’t there before because I had the same test in December when I started seeing the specialist.  It wasn’t enough to say it was definitely ectopic, but between what was seen on the scan and the blood work levels they were concerned.  He scheduled me for more blood work for the next day to check the HCG and also my liver and white blood cell counts to determine if I would be able to handle the medication if needed.  And scheduled me for a methotrexate injection, just in case, for Friday.  Depending on my blood levels, etc.

So, next day more blood.  I legit felt like I had no blood left at this point.  My mom nicknamed me pin cushion.  Just kept alternating between arms.  In the early afternoon at work, I got a call from the nurse.  My levels had barely gone down.  My covering doctor was in surgeries, so the doctor covering for him felt really strongly that there was enough evidence that it was ectopic and didn’t even want to wait until Friday for treatment.  They wanted to me to drive to Boston right away.

Side-note: Non-expert information.  There are several different ways to treat an ectopic pregnancy.

  1. Leave it.  Do nothing and hope it goes away on its own.  Obviously this is not recommended because the alternate result is some of your lady parts rupture and that is no bueno.
  2. Surgery. They can go in laparoscopically and try to remove the embryo from the wrong place.  What is challenging about this is it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack because this early along what they are looking for is tiny and hard to find. It also could potentially cause scar tissue which makes future pregnancies more difficult as well.  And, it’s just surgery.
  3. Methotrexate injection.  Methotrexate, or as I affectionately call it, Meth, is a chemotherapeutic drug that attacks the rapidly reproducing cells aka embryo.  And helps flush it out of your system.

So, after my first scan we discussed the treatment options and decided my best treatment to start with was Methotrexate.  The amazing side effects of the drug include: feeling lethargic, exhaustion, mouth sores, skin rashes-so hot.  You also had to stop taking all your vitamins so that they didn’t work against the drug.  Because it gets processed through the liver, you have to avoid alcohol for several weeks after.  You also have to avoid exercise, which is not medicine related, but just a precaution to avoid possible rupture until it is cleared up.  And the kicker, because of how strong the drug is, you have to wait at least 2-3 months before trying to get pregnant again.  What the everyloving shit.

So I drove down to Boston, Kenny met me there, they brought me into a room to sign all these forms about this medicine which on paper sounded like I was swallowing an ocean of poison.  Then the nurse said she needed to prepare the medicine and came back in to the office in what I can best describe as a Hazmat suit, goggles, full-body, the whole 9.  To “protect herself”…from the drug you’re about to shoot in my butt cheeks?  COOL.

The shot was fine, felt like a flu shot, so not super fun but it was alright.  Then they just send you on your way.  Came home and let my supervisor know what happened.  Reason number 17384859283 why she’s the best; 15 minutes after we got home a random dude shows up on the porch and said he was delivering food…that we didn’t order.  She ended up sending us enough comfort food for an army which was the bomb.  And told me I was required to stay home the next day, which I needed, because I kept telling myself I am physically capable of workng, but mentally I needed a break.  Plus we had to head to NY for our nieces and God daughters’ Christening.  Which was great…but how I got through that weekend, I have no idea.  I guess the faces of the most adorable nuggets makes powering through intense physical and emotional pain more doable.

I felt pretty much the same minus the exhaustion.  Also they emphasized good oral health, flossing twice a day, the whole 9, because your mouth can be affected by the meds.  Luckily I am the queen of oral hygiene (#thanksmom) and still call my mom every time I get an amazing review at the dentist.  Yeah, I’m a loser, that’s fine.

Then Sunday, I would call D-Day, aka the day all the blood began to leave my body at an alarming rate.  Also, you could not use tampons. I realize some people don’t, but I typically do.  So, not having options while you feel like a tsunami is falling out of you (GROSS I KNOW. But if you feel gross reading it, imagine how I felt whilst it was happening).  It was like red alert, no pun intended, every 20 minutes for 3 days.  And the pain was incredible.

By Tuesday, I determined I needed to call the doctor.  it just seemed like more blood and more pain than they described was normal.  On my way home from work I called the office, got a call back from the nurse then the doctor.  Who to my surprise sent me to the ER.  She said she just didn’t want to risk waiting until the morning to see my numbers.  So I got to spend 7 hours in the ER sitting around, mostly doing nothing.  Ultimately because I didn’t meet the numbers they wanted in the projected time frame, they decided to give me a second set of Meth injections in the hospital.  They had told me at the first visit that a small percentage of people may need an additional injection, and another small percentage might still need surgery even after the injections.  So they gave me the surgery option in the ER and I really wanted to avoid that so I went back to injections.

I ended up getting my blood checked for the next two weeks every 48 hours to monitor the numbers going down by the appropriate ratio.  This is where the math major does come in handy!  After many blood tests, we went to meet wth my actual doctor.  While everyone else kept calling it a suspected ectopic, she was very confident that is what it was.  Because she was very familiar with my anatomy via my previous scans, she knew that the mysterious mass that was now there all of a sudden was definitely that. So that at least made me feel better that all this treatment wasn’t for nothing. But, she said if my number didn’t get below a certain amount by the next day, that I might need a third injection.  I was not about that life.  Luckily I made the threshold by 1!  She also told me I needed to avoid all foods with folic acid, because the folic acid tries to convince your body to do the opposite of what the methotrexate is trying to do.  So, basically the opposite diet of what most people who are trying to have a baby eat.

Essentially for the month I existed on a diet of primarily potatoes.  No leafy greens, no grains, no eggs-I practically became a potato.  And nothing makes you feel better about yourself when you’re going through a trauma than only being able to eat potatoes and not being able to exercise.  I had to cancel a bunch of fitness classes I teach and couldn’t teach dance.  It SUCKED.  And just knowing we were in baby making jail sucked too.  Even though less than 0% of me was interested in that venture at the moment, and the forced waiting period is probably a blessing, I still felt like it was a waste.

Finally my HCG got below a 10 which is what they would consider not pregnant, so they considered the ectopic pregnancy as resolved.  I could go back to my normal routine, diet, etc., except the booze, still had to lay off that.  But it was a good month or more where everything in my normal life was thrown upside down.  I was sleeping at like 7:45pm.  I felt like a sloth.  But, I finally started feeling a little bit like myself again in mid-March.  It was pretty brutal.

And, that’s where there is nothing cool about methotrexate. (Except for luckily avoiding surgery).

All the while during all the suckiness, I tried to keep perspective. I was still grateful that it was caught very early, that I didn’t get rushed into surgery, automatically, and that my tubes and ovaries were not in grave danger.

On to the next.


Eff this game Grandma, you win!

For all my OG Dane Cook fans out there; you ever get 12 hours into a Monopoly game and then just give up, and flip the table over?  Well, that’s about where I was at circa September 2016.


After the May incident, we were advised to take a couple of months off before trying to get pregnant again.  The idea was that I could build back up a store of folic acid and give the bod a little rest.  But, even if we didn’t get that advice from the doctor, we probably would’ve taken the summer off anyway.  Mentally, it was just unbelievably draining and messed with my head.  So having a summer full of the beach and not counting days or waiting or worrying was just what the doctor ordered, quite literally.


So, we did just that and it was a nice break.  I couldn’t help but think we were wasting precious time, though.  That is the problem with the “breaks” mandatory or voluntary, you end up feeling like Mona Lisa Vito from My Cousin Vinny…”My Biological Clock is Ticking Like This!” But alas, it was a nice summer off from the constant thinking, planning, wondering, waiting.

So, after I got my period in August we were a go to start trying again.  We weren’t trying too hard, meaning there wasn’t a hefty amount of scheduled shenannies.  For the record, nothing hotter than essentially having a calendar invite for sexy time. Ugh.  Anyway, during the week of possibility we gave it a shot. Then I went into one of the busiest months of the year for me at work.

I really didn’t have any expectations, it felt sort of like a fresh start. So, when a few days before I expected my period I started spotting, I didn’t think anything of it.  I figured it was just my period starting a smidge early, not that crazy. I was working 15-17 hour days for about a week and the spotting kept hanging around and never “turned into” my period.  I thought it was weird, and with my history with spotting (still bullshit) I questioned the sitch at this point.

Exactly a week after the spotting started and my first day back to a normal work schedule, I went downstairs to shower before work and decided maybe I should just take a test.  Peed on the stick and hopped right into the shower, really doing it for more of a reassurance that I wasn’t pregnant.  Much to my surprise when I stepped out of the shower, over the stick on the floor, I looked down and wiped the water out of my eyes because I thought I was seeing things. Pregnant.  Again.  And I wasn’t even a little excited.

You know how much it sucks to see a positive pregnancy test and automatically be nervous and stressed instead of excited?  In this case I was already spotting for an extended period of time before I even got a positive test, so I more or less knew it wasn’t a good sign.  But, I did my normal internal convincing not to jump to terrible conclusions.  Called the doctor, went in for a blood test, numbers were relatively low but not alarming-here it comes…hope.  Just continuing my pattern of trying to live in a place between hopes up and hopeless.  It’s a tricky balance to find.

I had to go back in 48 hours, it was a weekend, so I was told to call urgent care in the afternoon to get one of the nurses to call me back with results.  It was actually the only unpleasant experience I had with one of the staff at my doctor’s office.  The nurse was just not nice.  My numbers went up…but not by enough.  She told me she couldn’t really say what to do next, I had to just wait it out until Monday.  Not pleasant or helpful. So I was just left in a pool of question marks. Like, seriously lady, what the shit!

The tiny sense of hope was dwindling, but at that point I just wanted to know. They had me go back again 48 hours later, but while I was waiting for the results call the bleeding kicked up quite a bit so I more or less knew what they were going to tell me.  And, when I got the call, I got the answer I anticipated, numbers were going down.  Another miscarriage.

Even though I kind of knew given how this went down, this one hit me really hard.  It was like the trifecta of shittyness.  I had a bit of a breakdown.  Kenny came home from work and found me in a ball in the bedroom.

Have you ever been on an end of a fight you didn’t know you were in?  That’s what this was like.  He wanted to help and be there for me, but everything he did was the actual worst.  Not in reality, just nothing he could do or say would make me feel better, so it only made me more upset.  I was a lost cause, at least for the time being.  I know that was hard for both of us, because Kenny wants directions- “Like, what exactly can I do for you?” And I couldn’t articulate what I needed, because this was new territory of hopelessness that I hadn’t quite felt before.  It was really bad.

After I got somewhat out of that, I was just like a walking water balloon, if water balloons were full of tears.  Any little thing could make me cry at any moment; I avoided Facebook for fear of a baby announcement sending me into Sob-mode-5000.

At our follow up doctor’s appointment I continued my trend of crying every time I walk into the office.  They definitely think I’m batshit, even though they try to convince me otherwise.  They said at this point they were referring us to a specialists, now that we reached the magical number of 3 losses.  Like hitting the devastation lottery.

I felt like I hit my max.  Like I could not handle this again.  Like maybe despite everything I thought my whole life, maybe I wasn’t meant to be a mother.  That my body was failing me.  Like there HAD to be something wrong with me that was causing this-and what did I do to cause that?  And what did I do to deserve this?  It was a whole new level of mind racing and thinking all of the things that weren’t actually helpful.

To top it off about 2 weeks after this third loss, we were set to celebrate our 1st anniversary.  I’d never been less excited for something in my life.  I just expected our anniversary to be so different, and not full of sadness.  If the January incident didn’t happen, I actually would have been due around that time.  So that was looming, on top of May, on top of this new situation.  It was just a dark cloud over what should have been an awesome time. We bought a bottle of wine at our favorite vineyard from our honeymoon in Santorini to have on our anniversary, but I truly thought I would have to skip out on drinking it because I would be preggo by then.  I guess searching for the bright side, I did get to enjoy it, and it was just as delish as it was a year before.

Don’t worry, I mustered up some positivity and excitement to celebrate once it actually came around.  But it was a challenge I wasn’t expecting to have going into it.  Plus, Kenny kills the gift game, so he got me a replica of my wedding bouquet, because I was so sad I didn’t get to preserve it!


And he surprised me with tickets for us to see the Bad Boy Reunion Tour; because he knew nothing says romantic anniversary celebration to me like a little 90s hip hop throwback concert. Cue Mo Money Mo Problems…


If one more person tells me to relax…

Let me ask you a question.  If someone has ever told you to relax, what has your response been?  Has it been immediately transporting yourself to a vision of meditating on a private beach with quiet gongs in the background?  Probably not.  It probably did the exact opposite.  Potentially even generated pure rage. Or, maybe that’s just me? lol

It’s amazing how much advice you get when you decide to tell someone that you’re trying to have a baby.  Even without, or especially without, giving details about what you’ve already been through.  People will tell you:

  • to put your legs up
  • to stay laying down for at least 15 minutes
  • to do it every other day
  • to do it everyday
  • to use an ovulation kit
  • to not use an ovulation kit
  • to check your temperature
  • to not check your temperature
  • to do it in the morning
  • to do it at night
  • to try “not trying”
  • to drink some special tea or other concoction
  • to avoid, or add in, a variety of foods
  • and most of all to JUST RELAX

The amount of well-intentioned, but misguided “advice” is astronomical.  And my answer?

“I’ve tried that.”  All of that. I’ve gone down the deep dark hole of pregnancy websites and all the professional (or not professional) advice or tips there.  It’s a mess, and definitely a rabbit hole that can send you in a variety of confusing directions of feeling less-than or like a failure and having you spend a bunch of money on “tricks” as well.  And no offense, if you got pregnant within a few months, or even better by accident, you can be assured I’m obsessed with your child, but I most definitely don’t want any advice from you on how to get pregnant. Not because your advice is better or worse than anyone else’s, but because you just got lucky.  And that’s awesome, I don’t begrudge you that.  But if you had an oops I fell and just like that, preggo, type of scenario, I can pretty much guarantee it wasn’t because your legs were up or because you laid down for 15 minutes afterwards. It just worked.

Also, in my case, I have gotten pregnant.  4 times to be exact.  So, maybe I have the legs up, timing, etc., equation down pretty well. But, alas, still no baby. So, it’s not that I don’t think the givers of the advice mean well, it’s just that to be honest, it kind of stings. Like, ohhhhhhhh, if only I tried that maybe I’d be good? I’ve done legit, everything.  I think the part that is the toughest is mentally, thinking that you’re always doing (or not doing) something that is hurting your efforts.  When in reality, much of it is very much out of your control.  For someone who already feels like this is their fault or that they could have fixed this, the advice just exacerbates that feeling.

The relaxation comment is the killer though.  I’m not a relaxed person, I never have been.  I have a hard time sitting on the couch and not doing at least 3-4 things while watching a show or movie.  I don’t relax well.  That’s why I intentionally do structured things like yoga, acupuncture, and most recently meditation, to have some built in relaxation into my life.  But the idea that not being relaxed is what is causing our issues, is A. not true, but B. just harmful for my mentality.  Feeling like my lack of calm is the problem only makes me less calm trying to solve my calm problem. #viciouscyclefordays

Now, I get that you don’t know what you don’t know.  So, how can I expect you to read my mind and know what not to say if I haven’t even told you what I’m dealing with?  I get that.  Which is why I’m spilling my guts to the world now.  But for some people (and me for like +/- a year) it is just too painful and fresh to talk about. So, just being mindful is good.  I know I have certainly said some dumb shit in my day, definitely not pretending to be Perfect Polly over here.   But I do think women giving women unsolicited advice is dangerous, on any topic, and we do it pretty pervasively.  What I have done worked for me, therefore it is the best method, therefore you should do this.  I think we ladies sometimes have a habit of doing that; and it’s often not the best move. When asked, please do tell. I often ask people questions, especially ones I know who’ve been through this and come out the other side. But if not, empathy is a good start, or potench just let it be.  Or just give them one of these cards my friend sent me via Facebook from Huffington Post the other day.

These are some of my faves.

Legit tho:

Ain’t that the truth:


Last but by no means least:

You know what’s cool about Methotrexate? Nothing. Part I

I’d recommend reading my Arizona post here before this one:Arizona. The land of margaritas, and weird future telling estheticians.

When I got back from Arizona I was over the moon excited!  Told Kenny, he kept texting me day by day asking how everything was, given our history.  It was cute.  But also I was trying to distract myself from thinking too much and just kept myself busy at work.  Luckily, work just does that for me automatically! It’s a great, fun, hectic distraction for whatever is going on.

I landed on Valentine’s Day, which was a Tuesday, Wednesday got my good blood work results, and then Friday was Kenny’s birthday.  Did I mention that when I went to get my blood work on Wednesday I drove a half an hour out of my way to go to a lab I had never been to before, hoping for some different mojo? Yup, I’m crazy, but I digress.

Thursday was a pretty normal day, except for the “residue”.  I had been prescribed progesterone supplements; nope not the kind of supplement you take like your regular vitamins, but (luckily! *sarcasm*) the kind you get to put…up your hoo ha twice a day. Super Hawt.  The progesterone is used from 24-28 hours after you ovulate for about 14 days, or until you get your period or are pregnant.  If you’re pregnant you keep taking it to support the pregnancy, if not, you stop it until the next cycle. Anyway, I noticed a little residue on Thursday, and called worried that maybe the medicine didn’t get to where it was supposed to go.  But they assured me as soon as it is… in there (TMI), I’m fine.

*btw I still think about this, and wonder if I took another replacement dose if things would’ve been different*

Friday, is Kenny’s birthday, and my next 48-hour blood work.  We have plans after work to celebrate, dinner in the city and a Louis C.K. show.  But, when I wake up in the morning to get ready for work I see the dreaded hint of pink. I did a pretty good job convincing myself not to freak.  Mostly because I didn’t want to ruin Kenny’s birthday, to be honest. But since everything seemed different, I told myself it would be ok. I gave Kenny a birthday smooch and ran away to avoid the possibility of getting suups emosh.

Went to the lab, and then went about my day. I had a million meetings, but was just waiting until the magical 2pm hour when my phone usually rang with the Dr.’s number.  While in a meeting I got the call, the significantly less enthusiastic person on the other end this time, saying my HCG level increased but not quiiiiiiiiiite double like they hope within 48 hours.  I actually spent the morning like Huck from Scandal whispering 552 552 552 552 552 over in my head hoping if I say it, it will be true.  But there it was, 506. So, it was pretty close, and I ended up doing a deep dive down a rabbit hole about whether or not it HAD to double in 48 hours.  Some sites said 48-72 hours, some said when it is pretty close you could still be ok, but I was already in Defcon 4.

I updated the hubs, but was determined to stay positive and have fun for birthday festivities, and just wait until Sunday to get the next 48 hour blood work.  We had a delish dinner and the show was hilarious, obviously.  I decided at the last minute to call out sick from teaching dance on Saturday.  I just knew that if something was to happen, and I didn’t do everything I could to prevent it, I would always wish I had just lied down all day.  So, I called out and felt super guilty about it, but spent all day on the couch with my feet up and trying to chill.

But then we had my cousin and his fiance’s engagement party, so I put on my best brave face and sipped on my ginger ale.  Then Kenny’s work friends were having a co-birthday party with/for him and as much as I love hanging out with them I wanted to go there about .002%.  But, we went, I hate to let anyone down.  Once there, it was obviously fun, but we left early because I just wanted to curl up in a ball.

Also, as a side note, why the EFF won’t bartenders put a club soda with lime in a regular cocktail glass?  Why when you ask for that, they have to put it in a huge water glass?  And make it blatantly obviously there is NO alcohol in it.  Same for virgin margaritas, c’mon bro!  Help a girl out!

Anyway, Sunday we got up and went to the lab.  I had also been taking baby aspirin, to help avoid blood clots, so I just bled through what seemed like 15 cotton swabs and then we went home.  As luck would have it, Kenny’s parents drove up to Mass for the weekend to see some family and celebrate his birthday.  We had dinner plans with them Sunday night with my parents. Around 3 o’ clock I got the call from the doctor…the HCG was going down.  The pregnancy was not viable. HCG was now a 475.  I made it through the call because as much as I hoped, I also knew at that at that point things didn’t seem good.  But as soon as I hung up, I lost it. I just couldn’t believe this was happening again.

I texted my mom, because she was there when I found out originally, so I knew I needed to update her.  She was very sad as well and suggested we cancel the dinner, as did Kenny.  But I just couldn’t. They had come all this way, and we only saw them every couple of months.  By the time I had stopped crying, I had about 45 minutes to get myself together and try my best to mask the epic blotching that takes over my entire face post-cry. But, I managed.

The dinner was actually quite fun; it was a much needed distraction and always good to spend time with family, even during dark times.  But as soon as we got back to the house, I collapsed.  All the energy I cultivated to get through the dinner positively just escaped my body and that was it.  I texted my boss and told her I couldn’t come in Monday, I spent the whole day inside a weird shell of myself.

Luckily while in sweatpants and looking a hot mess Monday, we stopped in the grocery store for a few things, and ran into my brother’s close friend’s parents.  Just what I was hoping for! *Joke* Of course they start making friendly “how’s life” conversation including my favorite question-“Got any kids?” Nope.  And you’re timing is impeccable.  These are super nice people, just ran into them at the least opportune moment imaginable.

So, all of this went down before I even found out about the ectopic pregnancy or began my love hate relationship with methotrexate.  To be continued.