Friday, March 25, 2011

The Last Shot


Today I came to the most devastating conclusion of my life.  If I do not get pregnant this donor cycle, I am never going to be pregnant.  I’m giving you fair warning.  This post is going to be long.  This post is not going to be a happy one.  There will be no tie-ins to fairy tales and no attempts at clever analogies.  Just reality and sadness.

As many of you know, I have been having pain and spotting for three weeks now…with the pain getting worse since I started the birth control pill a little under two weeks ago.  Well, the bleeding has been getting heavier and last night and this morning, the pain was so bad that I had difficulty standing up straight and walking.  I called my fertility center, and being the awesome and sympathetic people they are, they got me in immediately to be examined.  I’ll spare you all of the details, but the bottom line is that the pill is evidently messing with my estrogen level and irritating my endometriosis to the point of this unbearable pain and bleeding.  On April 3rd, I will stop the pill and start taking Lupron (which is what they use to treat endometriosis).  So, at least this pain and bleeding is temporary.  Also, because I will be on Lupron the rest of the donor egg cycle, through egg retrieval, the endometriosis won’t interfere with my chances of conceiving.

With that said, it has only been seven months since my last (very aggressive, four-hour-long) surgery to remove all of my endometriosis.  I travelled to one of the top surgeons in the country for the surgery, and he had assured me that he got it all…and by the way I felt after the surgery and the horrid pictures of what my bladder, bowels, uterus, ovary and abdominal wall looked like after the surgery…I have no reason to doubt that he did get it all.  But, my endometriosis has been getting progressively more aggressive.  The length between my surgeries has been getting shorter and shorter.  Each surgery, more implants and adhesions are present, and more organs are involved.  My doctors, and there have been a lot of them throughout the years, have all told me that I needed to get pregnant as soon as possible because a total hysterectomy was imminent.  That advice started at age 16. 

Today, the amazing (really, she is a beautiful human being) head nurse at the clinic hugged me as I was crying and comforted me as much as she could.  She said “We just need to get you a baby in that uterus, and then you can have a hysterectomy and this will all be over, honey.”  I replied, “When I was 16, they said the same thing…and where I grew up, being pregnant at 16 was not necessarily outside of the norm.  Maybe I should have listened.”  She said “No ‘what ifs’.  We just need to get you that baby.”  From your mouth to God’s ears, kind and wonderful nurse.

They gave me Tylenol with Codeine to help with the pain, and said to take it easy for awhile.  So that is what I am doing.  Missing yet another day of work, thinking about how many days of work and school I’ve missed because of endometriosis pain and surgeries.  Thinking about how many days of school and work, and other activities, I’ve missed because of fertility treatments, likely necessitated by the effects of the endometriosis.  It is very hard not to “what if” about the past, but, when I got home from the pharmacy, I felt like I needed to look to the future instead of the past, and so I did.  Unfortunately, that analysis has been equally upsetting.

I realized I can’t do this anymore.  I wanted to be pregnant and give birth to my baby so badly that I was able to make the leap to giving up a genetic connection to my child to achieve pregnancy.  But I can’t keep going through surgery after surgery.  My last surgeon said that the next surgery was going to have to be a hysterectomy…and I think he was right.  I can’t keep experiencing this excruciating pain, nausea and fatigue.  I’m out of treatment options, unless I want to be on pain meds for the next few years.  So, I’ve decided…if I don’t get pregnant from this donor egg cycle, I’m having a hysterectomy and moving on with my life.  Hopefully adoption will be part of that future.  Hopefully the Prince will be okay with my decision and not opt to go find a wife who can give him children.  Hopefully I will not spend my life wondering if I should have tried to suck it-up a little harder and stuck it out a little longer.  But the bottom line is, endometriosis has won.  I am putting up one last battle by continuing with a donor egg cycle…but if it doesn’t work…I’m admitting defeat.  It breaks my heart to have come to that decision, but it is breaking my spirit to live like this.  I know that someone out there will be thinking that I shouldn’t make this decision while I am in pain and emotional, but that is exactly when I need to make the decision.  It is too easy to forget how much this hurts and how obvious it is that I can’t keep going through this, when I’m not in pain and I am obsessed with getting pregnant at all costs.  Some costs might be too great…even for a pregnancy.  God it hurts to say that. 

I emailed the Prince about what happened today and what my choice is regarding the future.  He is always busy with students at work, and I thought that it would be easier for him to hear this news without me choking it out between sobs over the phone, or while he prepares to go to his physical training appointment tonight.  I told him that I know he can’t fix this, but he can help me to feel better by being kind and sympathetic.  I told him that I know this has to be hard for him too, but he is the only one who can give me what I need right now – the support of my best friend…my life partner.  I pray that he is able to be my rock right now and to surprise me by being a little emotional…a little empathetic.  It’s a lot to ask and it’s a lot to throw at him, but I can’t help it.  I know I can’t get through this decision alone.

The pain killer is finally kicking in, so I am going to stop writing this novel without a plot and try to sleep a little.  I know that there are a lot of you out of there who are supportive and I am comforted by that support already, even though I know you haven’t even read this yet.  Thank you for helping me feel cared for.  It is strange to have close friends, who know my darkest secrets and most intimate thoughts, whom I have never met.  But I am so grateful for you.


5 comments:

aliciamarie911 said...

Your husband has stuck by you this far, I'm sure he'll stick with you no matter what! I'm sorry that you're going through this. I pray that you get that baby that you've been dreaming about.

Lindsey said...

I'm so sorry you're in so much pain. I hope more than anything that this cycle works for you, but if it doesn't you will still be a mom, a wonderful mom!

I read this, as I always do your posts, nodding along. I can't count the number of times Drs and nurses have said, we just need to get you preganant. How strange that we've lived our lives knowing hystorectomy is emminent. I have to wonder if that effects the stress that is put on us every cycle? As if the pain isn't enough we always have to wonder if this will be our last chance...

One Cycle at a Time said...

I'm so sorry. What a hearbreaking decision to have to make. I really hope this DE cycle works and you won't have to worry about that decision for at least 9 months. Hugs to you....

bean dreams said...

I'm sorry you're having to go through this pain and heartache. I do hope more than anything this cycle works, but know that if it doesn't, you are still a mother, you will still be a mother. I love where your profile says that one of the most important things about you is that you are a mother, especially where it counts, in your heart. In all the dark moments, remember that this is the song of your heart. You are a mother and you will be a mother to the beautiful baby (or babies) meant just for you. Much love and positive energy your way!

New Year Mum said...

Oh my dear friend... how I want to be able to have you a hug right now. You've been through so much and been so brave for all these years. It must be heartbreaking to think about putting all your hopes in this cycle. Maybe just take it one week at a time and see how you feel as you go along. I'm coming to the point of thinking that if IVF doesn't work next cycle then moving onto adoption - or maybe just being happy as we are. This IF thing is such a nightmare and I've only been on this path one year... I can only imagine a fraction of what you're going through. Please know that my heart goes out to you and I'm thinking of you as you go through this difficult time. Love always xoxo