We have 2 more days until our Beta test, which will determine just how PUPO I am. Hopefully I won’t be (U)PO. With any luck, I’ll just be P. And hopefully Mike and I won’t go crazy by then, waiting for the blood test and the subsequent results.
How to pass our time, then? Well, I thought we could blog about what got us here? What brought us, day by day — kidding, not that specific — major piece by major piece, to less than 48 hours until we have pregnancy test results from our first round of IVF. This blog post is just like our embaby, a little bit of Mike and a little bit of Melly. Mike wrote our friend an email (actually, a Facebook message), and Melly went back through it, adding some details along the way. We work pretty well in tandem…anywho, without further delay…
We starting “not defending” against pregnancy back in February 2015 (looking back, we are shocked by the $$ we preventing pregnancy through the years for no reason!). Mike was in the beginning stages of looking for a new job, and because he’d be quitting his job at the law firm he was working at in Poughkeepsie, in order to claim his life back (no more billable hours), February seemed like the right time. Plus, he was going to work as an in-house attorney at a company that provided paid paternity leave. The timing made so much sense, and we figured we’d be pregnant in 3-6 months, and we’d have our first baby before the end of 2015. LOL!
Mike: We tried to get pregnant naturally for about a year. We did all the timing, and temping, etc., but nothing worked. Never a positive pregnancy test from February 2015 – March 2016. Sometimes I look back on that period and think it was the most painful part of the whole process. We were so hopeful (and really naive) at the beginning. I think that every month when Melanie either got her period or we had a negative pregnancy test, it hurt pretty badly. Around April of 2016 we decided to go for infertility testing. So I entered the masturbatorium (which is both a real and amazing word) and Melanie went through the invasive poking and prodding that is required to gauge a woman’s fertility. Our results were, to us, crushing: “UNEXPLAINED INFERTILITY.” I had plenty of swimmers and Melanie ovulated on schedule and her tubes were clear, and her urerus without polyps or issues. Plus, she HAD a uterus, so things were looking good! How confusing for us. So after a year of disappointment, and a slew of testing, it felt like we were just not meant to have children on our own, and we had no idea why. Melanie’s gynecologist, a sweet Asian man, who I often joked was providing us with his Eastern magic, suggested that we continue trying to get pregnant the old fashioned way, while also using the fertility drug Clomid. So feeling like we had nothing to lose, we started what was supposed to be a 3 month cycle of Clomid pills and timed natural conception….but as you know, with infertility, nothing ever goes as originally planned.
We decided to start the sex/Clomid combination in June of 2016 when school ended for Melanie (Melanie is a teacher). The first month, Melanie took 50mg of Clomid. Her doctor told us that he, as an OBGYN, could prescribe up to 150 mg, but for anything higher, we’d need to be working with a specialist. The Clomid, he hoped, would rev up the follicles to produce a heartier egg. What actually happened, was what the label warns you about. The side effects of Clomid were pretty bad for her. Terrible hot flashes (when he says terrible, he means, TERRIBLE!!! I was drenched, slept as close to the AC on max as possible, and couldn’t have Mike or our goldendoodle, Charlotte, anywhere near me at night…it was super pleasant, and I felt really well-rested), nausea, and irritability (of which I tried to steer clear). The results in June were more of the same, negative pregnancy test. But then in July, on our second round of Clomid (this time 100mg), Melanie had a positive test. It was the best thing ever. We were over-the-moon about it, given how long we’d been trying. Melanie put our 2 Mets hats (year, yeah, we know…) on the dining room table with an infant Mets hat she bought that day to tell Mike. It was sweet. And now, seeing it isn’t as sweet. But we kept it, because we want our baby to wear it someday.
About 3 or 4 weeks later (7 ½ weeks pregnant), friends from NYC were planning to visit us (a summer and fall getaway for many a friend who enjoys the Catskills). Friday morning, Melly woke up with some spotting. The doctors were not concerned. It was brown blood, and without back or shoulder pain, they thought it was just old blood, but offered to do an ultrasound, if we’d like…we liked that option. So we went in, for what we were told was an early ultrasound…we were, in fact, told not to expect much, as it was so early. But the ultrasound tech showed us a black sac and said we had nothing to worry about. Take it easy that weekend, but no need for bed rest or concern. Great. Old blood. No need for concern.
Still pregnant…so, we’d tell our friends that we were pregnant. Even though it was early, we decided it made no sense to hide the news, since it would be uncharacteristic of Melanie not having a few glasses (or a bottle) of wine with everyone. So we told them. Later that night, around 11:30 pm, Melanie went to sleep. She was feeling tired, so Mike stayed up, played beer pong on the back porch with a good friend, and together, they told his wife old stupid high school stories until she chose sleep over high school memories (Good choice! Smart choice!).
Mike: Then about 2 hours passed by, and my dog ran onto the back porch, and she started barking and jumping and howling at us. She typically doesn’t leave Melanie’s side, so I knew something was up, and I followed Charlotte (that’s the dog) upstairs where I found Melanie in the bathroom having a miscarriage. All four of us (thank god my friend’s wife was sober) (what a kick in the gut when your DD can’t drive) drove to the hospital in Rhinebeck per her doctor’s advice, due to fever and vomiting and pain level, and we spent the night at the hospital while Melanie got painkillers and dealt with the effects of the miscarriage. I think we got back home that morning at 5:30 am. Crazy night, to say the least.
A day or two later we were at the doctor’s office, to have another blood draw, confirming that her levels were lowering on their own — in hopes of avoiding a D&C. Her 3rd blood draw was stagnant, and Melanie was worried to say the least, but then her repeat test bottomed out. The miscarriage (physically) was over. The emotional toll it took still isn’t over (says Melanie). Adding insult to injury, a day or two after the miscarriage started, Melanie received a phone call from her OBGYN’s office, confirming her 8 week ultrasound the next day. Oof. Talk about pain.
A few months later, when Melanie’s doctor thought it was OK for us to start trying to get pregnant again (and after he told Melanie for the 10th time that mowing the lawn that week had not caused the miscarriage…in fact, he told her that short of going to Chernobyl, there was nothing she did to cause it…and seeing as she had not traveled to Chernobyl recently… we started sex/Clomid again. He prescribed the 100mg again, as it had worked the last time. And I think we were both hopeful it would work again. The 2nd time we’d cycled with Clomid, we got pregnant, so it should work again quickly! Ha ha ha. So foolish. We tried that for 2 more months. No success. At that point, we were referred to the CNY Fertility Specialists in Albany. Again with no answers, some more trauma, and nothing to lose, we made an appointment to see one of their doctors.