My IVF Journey: Back to the Drawing Board

I ignored my husband. The egg number was low as compared to the woman in the other room. Too low. I just closed my eyes and prayed. Prayed that one of those eggs would give us a baby.

We left and I spent the rest of the day trying to clear my head. We decided that we had to be different. This stress of going through the process couldn’t destroy us again.

The nurse called to tell us about the embryos developing. All was good. Five had made it to the blastocyst stage. Good news.

We were scheduled for a day 5 transfer. I was nervous as hell. The same beautiful Indian doctor who did the retrieval was scheduled to do my transplant. Where the hell was my doctor? He was the one who believed that he could get me pregnant again.

She explained how excited that she was to see me again. She said that she remembered me from the retrieval and she had great news about our eggs. They were beautiful and strong. Five made it and she began to discuss the transplant.

If we transferred one embryo the chance of getting pregnant was 32%. If she transferred two Grade AA embryos the chance of getting pregnant was 54%, but the chance of twins was 57%. I stopped.

I mean I had thought about twins, but not really. I thought about how beautiful my babies would be with my husband’s eyes and mouth, but I knew that I would be exhausted…mentally, spiritually and financially. I hesitated. I looked at my husband.

He recommended two. Of course he would. He had no clue what it would be like raising two babies. He just wanted a baby. By any means necessary.

I looked at the doctor and asked “What would you do?” She said “If it were me, I would transfer 2, but it is up to you. Do you think you could handle twins?” I didn’t know if I could handle twins. But, I knew the odds were higher that one of the embryos would implant and give us a baby.

I agreed to transfer two embryos. She smiled and they transferred two beautiful eggs back into my womb. I prayed that one of those eggs would implant. I wanted a baby.

It was now time to wait. The two week process was grueling as hell, but we were determined that we could wait. We had dinner plans with friends and my husband’s birthday was coming up.

I had bought him tickets to watch his favorite football team, the Redskins, play on his birthday. It was a couple of great seats that included parking and a full tail gate pass. I even told him that he could take one of his friends. I hate football, so I didn’t want him to feel obligated.

But, he didn’t care. He wanted to experience it with me. Why? I hate football. It was hot and all I could do to quench this insatiable thirst was drink beer. I hate beer. I still didn’t know if I was pregnant, but I wasn’t going to deny myself alcohol waiting on another negative.

The game was long, hot and I was sticky. I was happy when we got to leave and go home. I was a little dizzy from the heat and beer. There was one more day.

We only had to wait one more day before finding out if the egg implanted or not. I couldn’t take it. I was coming apart at the seams. My marriage was suffering a major set back and I didn’t know how much I could take before breaking.

I didn’t know if being pregnant would have been good at that moment. I had prayed for this baby and I know I was wondering if my entire life was a mistake. What were we doing?

-To be continued-

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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My IVF Journey: Dying Each Day

My cousin wasn’t getting better. I was getting worse. I was feeling like a failure in all aspects of my marriage. I went to the doctor’s and you know how that conversation turned out. I was officially depressed.

Between work and trying to keep the mask of superficiality on my face, I was really going through it. Work became an integral part of my life. I needed to have something to latch on too. Something that felt real.

But it was a farce and continued to be so for many months. Until our anniversary. That night we laughed in an uneasy form, but decided to give our marriage another go. We decided to recommit and focus on us and having a baby.

I was scared as hell. I couldn’t go through this again. The pain. The disappointment. The fear of having no baby.

But, I prayed. I wanted to give my husband a baby more than life itself. The thought of being a mom was one of my deepest fears. I struggled with insecurities about parenthood. What kind of mother would I be? Would my child love me? Would my child like me?

These thoughts were real for me. Parenthood was scary as hell. So, I jumped off that cliff and closed my eyes and flew.

Back through the IVF cycle. The pills, the shots, the bruising, the mood swings. The anger was real bad this time. Those drugs had me saying stuff to my husband that I never thought possible. One day I told him “Will you shut the hell up? The sound of your voice is making my ears bleed?” He didn’t respond.

I was upset. I cried later. He consoled me and said “It’s the medications. I understand.” I didn’t. It was hell on my body. My hair was shedding like a damn cat. I felt as though I was losing it.

The day of my egg retrieval, I woke up and he was right there smiling. I heard a doctor tell the woman next to me that they had retrieved 23 eggs. My husband grabbed my hand. We both wondered would we be so lucky.

A beautiful Indian doctor walked in. She indicated that they had retrieved 11 eggs. I cried. That wasn’t enough. Here we go again.

She asked me “What’s wrong?” I told her “I overheard the woman in the next cot had 23 eggs retrieved. I wasn’t going to ever have a baby and I hated this process.” She looked at me and said “Ms. Thomas, not to give anyone’s medical information away, but the woman in the next room has a medical condition where she is producing more eggs than normal. She said 11 is a good number and it only takes one. I need you to remember that it only takes one to have a healthy baby.”

My husband squeezed my hand and said “See, we did good.” I closed my eyes. I was tired. I couldn’t take another round of defeat.

-To be continued-

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

My IVF Journey: Blackout

I was in a perpetual hell. Pain. The pain was indescribable. No one knew how bad I was suffering. The excuses.

I made so many excuses for not being present. I became engrossed in work. Always working late or focusing on other things. Hiding the mask of pain for those who knew me best. Those who knew my struggle.

I had other things to focus on. My cousin was dying. He was 9 months older than me. He was my best friend. My life’s purpose became about making sure he was okay.

We talked often. I told him of my fear that I was broken. I told him how I feared that I couldn’t give my husband a baby. That I was scared. That maybe God was punishing me.

He listened. He loved. He encouraged. He never judged.

Even after his radiation treatments or chemo treatments he encouraged me to talk to my husband. To let him know what I was feeling. I couldn’t. I changed the subject.

I made my cousin promise that he wouldn’t leave me. That he wouldn’t die and leave me alone because I had no one. My heart was breaking and I told him that I couldn’t have another organ breaking since my womb was broken. He laughed.

He was tired. He was exhausted. A planned trip to spend some time with him in April was just what I needed. I needed to get home to see my family. To hear the sounds and laughter of those that loved me.

I felt so alone in my house that it was hard to come home. I would smile.  I would make polite conversation. I would go into the room and watch television. I tuned out. I turned my back on my marriage and grew smaller in my shell.

We became roommates.

I told my husband that I needed to go home to Tennessee. I needed to be with my cousin. He thought it would be a good idea. He encouraged me to go. Maybe he was hoping it would help me. A change of scenery. A breath of fresh air in this toxic environment that we were creating.

I went home to spend the weekend with my cousin and his new wife. She seemed nice enough. Surface. I couldn’t see beyond the surface of her personality so I just accepted his choices. He was who I needed to encourage me. He was who I was there to see.

My cousin had baked two pies for me. My favorite custard pie called a chess pie. It was so good. Perfect. Even after his cancer treatments he wanted to do something for me. He told his wife “My cousin is coming. I want to do it for her.” I felt special.

A bond that had formed when I was born this man was the big brother I never had. The father figure. The protector. I ate and slept that weekend. Good conversation, food and family. It was as though my life was reset. I saw value in the things that mattered.

I took my cousin and his wife out to dinner. I bought them groceries. He was on a fixed income. He had to maintain his COBRA payments until Medicare kicked in. She didn’t work. She took care of him. Food stamps helped some. But, she longed for coffee.

Coffee.

That was the least I could do. I called my husband and asked him was it okay that I bought them food. They had little and had given me so much. He encouraged my generosity.

I was at peace.

My cousin decided that he wanted to bake me a couple of pies and a caramel cake to take home. I asked “How am I expected to get this home?” “Ship it.” I laughed.

We shipped 4 desserts back to Maryland packed with ice packs. It was expensive, but I needed it. I needed a piece of family. I needed the love that was in that box. The love that a man who was dying gave me every day.

The next day I headed home. Back to my life. Back to the toxic feeling of failure that was engulfing my spirit. I wasn’t getting better.

I was getting better at hiding my pain.

-To be continued-

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

My IVF Journey: Great Expectations

It didn’t work. The first attempt at IVF yielded no positive pregnancy test. I couldn’t breathe. I wanted my baby. I wanted our baby.

Our baby wasn’t growing in my womb. The nurse said “I’m sorry”. I said “Its’ okay.” It wasn’t okay. I should’ve been pregnant. I cried.

I cursed God. I was angry. I was in hell.

Why couldn’t God allow me to get pregnant? Didn’t he know that I wanted a baby? I felt barren and unfit. Unfit to carry a baby.

I withdrew from my marriage. I pushed my feelings inside and threw myself into my work. I needed something to take my mind off not having a baby and I needed to see value in this barren life.

The fertility doctor kept calling to talk to me. I wouldn’t do it. I refused to do it. My husband said “Kee, you need to call the doctor back before he recommends therapy.” Hell, he should have. He did. I was hurting.

After a few weeks of feeling like a failure as a woman because I couldn’t conceive I called the doctor back. He wasn’t available. Oh well. I really didn’t want to talk anyway. He called me right back. He apologized for being in with a patient. He said “I’m sorry.” I shrugged my shoulders and said “I know. It’s part of the process. I knew that there was a probability that it wouldn’t work.” He said, “I think you should do it again. I know that I can get you pregnant.”

I sighed. I couldn’t go through this again. My hair was falling out from the drugs. The bruising on my body. The emotional hell of not hearing that I’m pregnant. I wasn’t ready to be disappointed anymore. I needed to breathe.

“Maybe” I replied.

We hung up. I told my husband what he said. He didn’t respond. I asked him what he thought about it. He said “I think you should do it again. He said that he can get us pregnant.” I walked away.

Silence.

Silence loomed in our house because I felt alone. My body had betrayed me and my husband believed that somehow it was us getting pregnant. It wasn’t. It was me. It was me going through the blood draws, egg retrievals, shots and pills. You can’t understand my pain.

My pain was enveloping me like a thick smoke. I was suffocating. Suffocating in my marriage and in my desire to give him something that I couldn’t give. My womb was broken. I was broken. I was cracking the hell up.

-To be continued-

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

The Wheel

The wheels on the bus go round and round.
round and round.
round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
all through the town!

Sounds of five year old laughter echoing in the car. They are singing their favorite song. It warms my soul. My twins give me life. They are the essence of pure joy. I love listening to their little voices and the way they try to rationalize the world. It’s pretty hilarious.

It’s a horrible day outside. The weather sucks as I drive through the streets headed to their annual check-up. I really wish the sun would come out.

I sigh. I’m not complaining. I just like driving with better weather. I pull over and park in front of the Starbucks so I can get a coffee before heading into the pediatrician’s office right next door. We park in front of the bike rack and my twins scream “Look Mommy, the wheels on the bike are big and spinning. It has lights on it.” I smile and say “Yeah, baby. That bike is a cool color. Can you tell me what color it is?”

They laugh. “It’s purple Mommy” they say in unison. They are right. Geniuses. I tell my husband that all the time. He says “You’re right. We have the smartest kids in the universe.” 

We head into Starbucks for my morning coffee and I get them juice boxes and apple slices. They speak to everyone and I am really afraid we’re going to be late now. “Come on babies. We have to go. We’ll be late to see the doctor” I say. “Mommy, we’re not babies” replies Addison.

She’s right. She’s also rather bossy for her age. Dean responds “Mommy, isn’t the doctor’s office right there? How will we be late?” he inquires. I sigh. My kids are too dang smart.

Out the door we go with our umbrellas and raincoats walking on the sidewalk to the pediatrician’s office. I hear tires squeaking and look back. I look back in time to see the car barreling down the street and headed straight for us. The driver is losing control of their vehicle.

I scream.

I look back to see my twins pinned underneath the wheel of the car.

 

Today’s post is inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt was wheel

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

My IVF Journey: Them Damn Drugs

Ordering my drugs was a breeze. I just had to order them directly through the pharmacy and I couldn’t use the one downstairs in the lobby of the fertility doctor’s office. The co-pays were relatively affordable, considering the costs of everything I needed. I wasn’t complaining.

The meds arrived to my house via UPS and I unpacked and put them in the refrigerator. Drugs for our fertility treatments were placed next to my collared greens. It was laughable. But, there was a giddiness and easiness that had emerged between us. We were rediscovering each other. Finding the joy in each other again.

It was weird and different. We were different. I think the desire to procreate (even though it wasn’t naturally conceived) put us at ease. We were one unit coming together to create life. I was finishing up the birth control pills and had to start the Lupron. We added the FSH injection as well and then began the back and forth trips to get the blood work.

The nurse had given a tip to put an ice cube on the area to numb it before the injection. She said it helps with the multiple needle sticks. We tried it. I didn’t feel the pain of the needle as much as I felt my belly turning blue and purple from the cold.

I had multiple trips to the lab and daily calls with the nurse to make sure things were progressing. We were a wreck. After each blood draw we waited patiently to see if our numbers were climbing until we were finally given an egg retrieval day. It became real. The bruising on my belly from the numbness of the ice and the multiple injections was worth it. A couple of days before the retrieval, I had received 3 shots that day.  But, it didn’t matter. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Fewer injections. I was finally going to get my eggs retrieved.

We arrived at our appointment time where I was instructed to change. I was told that I would be put in a twilight sleep during the procedure. My husband was led away to do his business so that they could fertilize his sperm with my eggs. I would be alone.

I woke up feeling hazy in recovery and my husband was right there. We smiled. The doctor came in to tell us that they had recovered 7 eggs and would start the monitoring process for transfer. I was discharged and told to take it easy. I still had to continue the injections, but it felt easier. It was like I knew that we would have a baby so I could bear the unpleasantness of the situation.

I laid in bed the rest of the day praying that one of those eggs would give us a baby. Just one. I wasn’t picky. The next day we received a call from the center stating that of the 7, 5 were viable and they were monitoring to see which would be ready for a transfer. They said that it may be a day 3 transfer.

The days passed slowly as we were told that of the 5 viable eggs only 2 were able to be transferred and we were doing a day 3. The transfer occurred and there was nothing left to do but wait. We had to wait. Eleven days after the transfer to see if we were pregnant.

They advised us to not use home pregnancy tests but to wait. We went about our lives having a wonderful Valentine’s Day just waiting. Love was in the air and we were both optimistic that we would be getting the great news that we were having a baby.

– To Be Continued –

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Random Rumblings: 4/7/2017

Hey Loves,

Sorry for the delay in writing. Life has been hectic.  We’re already into the second quarter of 2017. Time has really flown by. I’m exhausted.

Munch was sick on Monday morning. My week started off with a nasty smelling bang. He had a stomach virus. I thought it was strep again. Ugh!

Monday was a scheduled day off for me. I had 3 doctor’s appointments and a nail appointment. Combo sick day so I could accomplish all that I needed to get done. One day off. Handle my own health.

But, life has a way of stopping you in your tracks. Munch comes to me after sitting at the table not eating breakfast. He said “My tummy hurts.” Not one to play with his health, I went through the myriad of questions “Did you eat?” “Do you have to go stinky?” “Where does it hurt?” He answered.

I sighed.

“Baby, I have to go to the doctor’s today. I have 3 appointments. It’s class picture day. You can’t stay home today.”

Excuses. I gave him excuses for his health concerns as I rattled off my schedule. I was too busy to take off.

Two minutes later he was in the bathroom vomiting. Painful and forceful as tears rolled down his face. Last night’s dinner.

No breakfast. He hadn’t eaten anything on his plate. I rubbed his back and began to console him. Three more rounds of gut wrenching and painful vomiting. He was in pain.

I sat worrying about my baby and waiting until the doctor’s office opened to cancel my appointments. My baby was sick. I put him to bed. Rest. He needed rest.

I began to cancel my appointments and heard the sound of footsteps back and forth to the bathroom. Gross. He vomited 12 times before I remembered that I had prescription medication to stop vomiting and nausea.

I gave him a pill. “Let it dissolve on your tongue. Rest baby.” He laid down for an hour. I told Mr. C about the medication and that Munch was finally resting. He informed me that I should take him to the doctor’s instead of just giving him medication.

I laughed. I know what I’m doing. Munch entered my room. Red spots on his face. I began thinking he had something more serious than a bug.  Maybe strep or scarlet fever again.

“We need to go to urgent care. I need you to see the doctor. Put your socks and shoes on. Stay in your pajamas.” We left the house and headed to PM Pediatrics.

Urgent care tested him for strep. I told them that I gave him the anti-nausea and vomiting medication. Do you remember the mg? they asked “Yep, 4mg” I replied smugly. “Good move mom for thinking of that.”

I smiled. I was adjusting to this motherhood thing and trying to heal my son. LOL. Well, at least figure it out on my own. I was growing.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

A Healthy Heart

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about the massive to do list that I have going on and how I’m just trying to take it in pieces. One of those things was to send information about Munch’s fundraiser to all my family and friends. I am very selective about fundraising and I try to not inundate folks with every single request to buy something. Why? Because I can’t do everything.

However, Munch came home a couple of weeks ago wanting to participate in the Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart Program that is sponsored by the Red Cross. His school is participating and he was so excited to get these zoo animals and wanted me to let him participate. I reviewed the paperwork and explained why I was letting him participate. I told him that we have a history of heart disease in our family.

I explained to him that his grandfather has congestive heart failure and just got a pacemaker put in. I explained that his dad had multiple strokes when he was an infant and they are always checking his heart. I told him that the heart is the most important organ and the one that pumps all of our blood through our body and we must keep it healthy.

I went on to tell him that’s why I want him to continue to exercise with swim classes and soccer. But, there is still work to do. I admittedly don’t serve vegetables with every meal and I’ve got to do better. So, that was the challenge we agreed to do. To eat vegetables with every meal at dinner and to take a walk around the block every evening. Let’s keep the heart muscle working.

Today is National Go Red Day and I wore my red to support this great program. As a woman and knowing that I have a family history of heart disease, I want to keep my heart healthy. According to the Go Red website “Cardiovascular disease in the U.S. kill approximately one woman every 80 seconds. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Go Red For Women advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health.”

I’m a woman and I’m a mother and I support heart health. I want to be around for Munch for many years to come and I want to give him the tools to keep his heart safe and healthy. So, I’m asking if you’re able to, please consider making a $10.00 donation to Munch’s Campaign. We set the goal at $250.  All donations are tax-deductible.

The link is here:  Hoops for Heart

Life of Regrets

It is at the end of a man or woman’s life that they really begin to ponder things. Did I live a good life? Did I enjoy it? Was I good person? Did I leave the world a better place than when I found it?

Or at least I hope that is what we’ll do.

I have been thinking a lot about the life yet lived and the mistakes that we make when faced with the possibility of death. No, I’m not dying. I’ve been sick, but I’m recuperating. That’s why my posts have seemed erratic lately. Please bear with me.

But, I told ya’ll last week that my daddy had a pace maker put in and I was worried about him. His family was calling and asking me about a living will and what do I want to do with the surgery and being his decision maker. I started freaking out. What do you mean? Is he conscious? Can’t he make the decisions on his own? I don’t know about the will. He mentioned it a few times, but I’ve seen or signed nothing. Ugh!

I was overwhelmed and frustrated to say the least. I was told they would call me back and they didn’t. I just called the hospital and spoke to his nurse in ICU. He was conscious. He was able to make the decisions on his healthcare. He wanted the pacemaker.

I got answers. I was happy that the hospital was being very concerned about my dad’s health. They took down my phone number and called me. There was a wonderful nurse who told me she was trying to let the social worker know what my daddy needed when he went home. He needed a nurse. He needed help. He didn’t have a phone.

She asked me about my dad’s military service. My dad said he was a vet. He is. He is a vet. He was dishonorably discharged. The nurse said “He told me he wasn’t dishonorably discharged and he has papers to prove it.” I sighed. It was 1:30 in the morning. I responded in exasperation “My daddy is an alcoholic. He’s had a drinking problem all his life or at least for the last 35 years. Too much drinking and smoking. His brain cells are gone. He can’t produce any paperwork and I’m too tired to argue.”

She was sympathetic as I explained that I am the only one of a possible 9 children still speaking to him. One out of 9. That’s his life. So, I have no reason to lie. He’s broke and sick. He’s one of the forgotten. I just don’t know how to feel.

She understood. She listened as I explained that God had told me to forgive my daddy. That God told me that it in order for me to be blessed I had to let go of all the pain my daddy caused by not being in my life. She said “Me too. I know exactly what you mean.” She said she would help him. She would exhaust her resources.

Apply for Medicare. Do everything she can. Thank God for her.

She didn’t have to go above and beyond. It was appreciated. I wasn’t there. I knew at that moment that I needed to go home to see about him.

I talked to him the next day. He was moved to ICU to his own room. I called and heard his voice. He’s alive. He’s able to make his decisions. I told him the calls I received from his relatives. He said that he knew.

I was exhausted. Emotionally and mentally. It’s hard loving a man that you don’t really know. I’ve spent 11 years of my life with this man and 31 without him. It’s hard trusting him to not come in my life and hurt me again. I’m not his only child. I’m one of many.

My dad said that he wants me to contact his other children. To reach out to them and ask them to talk to him. I won’t. I can’t.

I feel that God gave me the message in order to move me from the pain to the promise. He may not have given my siblings that message. It’s not for me to clean up my daddy’s mess. I’ve said to him that he needs to find a way to clean up his own mess. That you can’t ask me to do what you should have done a long time ago. Be a man to your children.

I know that he’s living a life of regrets right now, but I can’t help him. We are all responsible for the choices we make. Good, bad or indifferent, you have to know that there will come a time when payment is due for your negligence. I wish that his regrets were more of the life not traveled, but I know they are more about the man he wasn’t and the forgotten children.

Review: Vicks Easyfill Cool Mist Humidifier

Hey Good Peoples,

Guess who got a Vicks Easyfill Cool Mist Humidifier? Yep, this girl right here! I was so surprised and excited because my last humidifier had just died and I was dreading having to go to the store to replace it. So, when the good folks at Influenster sent me a FREE one to review I was so geeked.

Now, I’ve been using this for the last week because the weather here has been cold and dry. Brennan is like me when I was younger….he suffers from nose bleeds when the air is too dry. Having an asthmatic child with allergies who also has nose bleeds, we always keep it running.

This humidifier is great because it is an easy fill and you can fill it in the sink or do a jug of water like I do. But, either way it is light weight to carry with water. You don’t have to refill it every night. One fill lasts about 36 hours depending on the setting. I keep it on high so I had to refill after about 26 hours. Not bad, but I have a big space that I want the mist to moisturize the air.

It does just that. It also has a slot for vapo pads if you need a soothing scent when you’re sick. It comes with two, but you could order additional. I think the best part of the entire product is the fact that it has an auto shut off when it is out of water. How amazing is that? I don’t have to worry about my house burning down while I sleep.

Vicks has done it again and just in time for the winter months.

You can buy this awesome humidifier here on Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/Vicks-EasyFill-Cool-Mist-Humidifier/dp/B01LXPDDCS

I received this product FREE for testing purposes and would highly recommend it.

You can check out Munch loving on his humidifier last month here on Instagram.