Light in the Midst of Darkness

I have been meaning to pay for a few days but have been waiting to access an electronic device with a keyboard.  It doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon,  so I’ve resigned myself to updating on the phone.  Please excuse any auto correct mistakes. . . Although I’ll do my best to avoid them too.

I’m in Indiana with La and the family for the holidays.  This is my fourth year here and I’m starting to adapt my Christmas patterns to things here,  although I still deeply miss being with my family for the holiday.  We have made it through all the of the Christmas celebrations here and only have a few more days before we head home on Friday. 
I expected more drama and turmoil from this trip,  but aside from some awkwardness,  it hasn’t been so bad.  L’s shitty conservative brother has been mostly not an asshole and everyone else has been kind and loving.  I also made it a priority to get to a LGBT positive church last night instead of tagging along with to my sister in law’s mega church with “drive thru communion.”
The toughest part of last night was sitting next to L’s very pregnant cousin,  the same cousin who a year ago we talked about getting pregnant with.  She is due on January 14, and it’s pretty much the only thing people can talk about.  I had to take a little sobbing break in the guest bedroom for a few minutes but was able to recover pretty quickly.  I’m good with babies – they induce only a small amount of jealousy but also how can you Hayter on a baby?  – but giant pregnant bellies are a harder thing to get past. 

There are a lot of people popping up pregnant on and offline and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a bitter pill to swallow.  Of course there is happiness and genuine celebration for them,  and they’re is also a very deep sadness for me and L. I wish this process made sense and played by rules.  But it doesn’t.  There’s no deserving or logic or reason.  And that just fucking sucks.

Before we left last Friday I had a call with the nutritionist I was referred to by the RE. I’m so glad we did our appointment over the phone as it really took away a lot of my self consciousness and allowed me to hear the information as something to learn rather than an indictment against me as a person or body.  Her recommendations are going to be a big shift,  but she is also super open to things changing slowly and working toward a goal.  I made it clear that improving my health and managing my PCOS were my goals,  NOT losing weight,  and she was totally willing to work with that and take that into consideration when talking to me about changing.  Of course,  no changes will be implemented this week since it is xmas and I am in the land of casseroles and I don’t really very to make too many decisions about what/where I’m eating – although I’ve certainly tried to do some harm reduction where possible.
I’m waiting on my period to start . . . I stopped taking my BBT and haven’t been tracking anything else with enough regularity for it to be reliable.  According to my “typical” cycle of 32 days,  me period is due tomorrow,  but that means almost nothing anymore.  If it hasn’t shown by Saturday,  I’ll call for a provera prescription and get this show on the road. 

Standing still had not been easy. Hope is definitely on the horizon but it doesn’t make it any easier to wait in the darkness.  Still,  I know the days start to get longer from here on out and there is possibility around the corner for us.  These last few days of waiting have been pretty grueling though,  so I’ll taking whatever Wishing and woo you have to get my uterus to get going.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas,  if you celebrate,  and that the light in the midst of darkness is rising on your horizon,  too.

Sad and Still.

Yesterday La and I took little Ed to the vet to get the scoop on his health. The diagnosis of glaucoma was confirmed in both eyes, with a pretty grim prognosis for avoiding pain. We had decided that if the glaucoma was confirmed we would likely make the decision to put him down, and that is the decision we ended up making. I am so grateful that it was his doctor who was there with us, who affirmed that this was the best decision for us. We loved on him and stayed with him until the end, then wished him well – to roam the great golden alley in the sky, dumpster diving the most delicious treats with all of his best friends – no insulin needles or dog cops to worry about.

It is, of course, so sad. I miss him dearly, and the gap his loss leaves is palpable. I feel so sure it was the right decision, and I am glad we were able to give him this gift of a humane and respectful death – a gift too many people and animals are denied. And, of course, none of that removes the grief. He was a dear and special companion.

I suppose I am also grateful to have the time, energy and space to feel this, to be present for him and my family, in a way I wouldn’t have been able to if we were also in the midst of another cycle trying to conceive. So I trust that the timing of everything was and is what it should be. I have been able to show up to a lot of things in my life in a way I haven’t in almost a year. The perspective is humbling.

In a week and a half, La and I will head out to Indy to spend the holiday with her family. There is a fair amount of anxiety going into this, as there is some gay drama awaiting us. You may recall the post about La’s shitty super fundamentialist brother who doesn’t want us to see his children for fear he might have to explain his bigotry. Since that incident in August, ShitBro has also been a nasty asshat to La’s mom – telling her that he doesn’t want her to see his children either, and telling her he plans to inform the 8 year old twins about their grandfather’s infidelity. Factor in the rest of the family’s midwest conflict avoidance approach, and everyone is basically waiting to see who and what explodes when. Exciting! 

Since my period is likely to arrive somewhere near Xmas, and I will need to get in to the RE to have tests run, I may be able to fly out of the fray early – I’ll take flying stand-by and possibly spending hours at the airport over family drama ANY day. I suppose time will tell. This is the first time in over a year I haven’t had a pretty precise idea of when my period would show up, since I decided to take the month off from charting of all kinds. Its a strange, anxious and wonderful feeling. Just like the good old days when you had to wait for the bitchiness and cramps. 

 

Just keep waiting.

Today was the big IVF consult! 

It went well, although you wouldn’t be able to tell that from my bad attitude. I’m chalking this up in part to the fact that life in general feels sad and hard right now. Let’s just say I’m latching on to the less awesome parts of the consult, for sure.

That less awesome part is, mostly, just how long a process this is going to be. Ok, I admit that while I was somewhat prepared for there to be a time lag, I also fantasized about getting the process going . . .oh, tomorrow. Of course, the delays are all medically necessary and, more than anything, I want this process to be medically well thought out, measured and careful – so I can hardly complain. That, of course, is the rational part of me. The other part of me is not available for comment because it has thrown itself on the floor and is flailing its arms and legs and throwing an all mighty tantrum.

The first thing we need to complete are some additional tests, namely: AMH, vitamin D, immunity, genetic screening, thyroid re-check, a hysteroscopy and trial embryo transfer. Because some of this (ok, ONE of these) requires testing on a specific day in my cycle (that has, of course, already passed for this cycle) we will have to wait until my next cycle starts to run these tests. So, really nothing can happen until somewhere near Dec. 25th, when I will celebrate the birth of baby Jesus and the (hopeful) arrival of my menses. Then I will rush home from Indiana and into the fertility clinic to get my blood drawn and my uterus looked at.

That cycle will, however, will be reserved for testing – and, if we want, an IUI with Letrozole while we are waiting. It might be worth a shot, eh? But, if the IUI doesn’t work or we choose to move forward without it, we will be able to begin down regulation, stims and egg retrieval at the end of January/February cycle. BUT . . .because of my PCOS, the doctor thinks it would be best if we forgo a fresh transfer and plan on an FET, since the risk for OHSS is increased in PCOS patients (she said less than 10% of their PCOS patients are able to do a fresh transfer because of hyper stimulation) Which means waiting until March or April for a transfer.

Once again, these are all measured and well thought out reasons, intended to increase chances for pregnancy, and healthy outcomes for me and the potential baby. And I want all of that. Its just that I also want to be pregnant, you know, a year ago . . .and we all know the amount of waiting in this damn game is just the pits. 

So, that’s the scoop.

We need to decide about the IUI, although we have a few weeks to do that. In the meantime, nothing will be happening in December, and there’s plenty to keep me busy between now and Christmas. Its just not the stuff I *wanted* to be keeping me busy, you know?

As an update to yesterday’s post – Ed has been sleeping and low energy, but mostly doing ok. He has pain pills through next week, and, depending on how things go, we will likely keep him going with those until next week when we will take him in to his regular vet and discuss options.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and good thoughts. Life feels hazy and sad, but there is hope there too.

Ed.

ImageMeet Ed.

Ed is my 13 year old bichon frise. I adopted Ed from the shelter when he was 5 years old, a very chubby and very dirty curly-qued pup. Despite his small stature, Ed has consistently been the bravest and most adventurous member of our family. He frequently broke out of the yard and went dumpster diving, always returning home an hour or so later with some treasures from the trash in tow. Once, he escaped and was picked up by the police and thrown in dog jail, where I had to bail him out the next day. Compared to my other dog, Eliot, and the bulldog La and I adopted together, Cletus, Ed has more courage and bravado combined. 

Three years ago, Ed started struggling and after many tests and trips to the vet, he was diagnosed with diabetes. More months of trying to regulate his blood sugar followed, during which he went blind from diabetic cateracts. They finally realized he had co-occuring Cushing’s disease which was making his blood sugar difficult to regulate. Finally, after almost a year, we got his disorders under control.

Despite all of this, Ed has persevered as an incredible being and companion. Despite his inability to see, he has learned to navigate our old house, our new one, and my parent’s house. He finds great joy in laying in the sun, in licking the bulldog’s wrinkly face, in eating his morning and evening meals. He trots around, sometimes ending up underfoot or running into a corner he forgot about, but his zeal for life has continued.

For the last week or so, we have noticed a few things about Ed: he has, on a few occasions, ended up in the yard walking in circles, for an hour or more; he has been barking to be let in at unusual spaces (where before he has never mistook a wall for a door); he has been sleeping late in the morning and not waking us up to be fed or let out; standing has become more challenging. Yesterday, he was in even worse condition – hardly moving, sleeping very heavily. While I was at church last night, he had a seizure. So, La and I decided to take him to an emergency vet.

$165 later, all we know is that he likely  had a hypoglycemic seizure, triggered by very low blood sugar. If you aren’t well versed in diabetes, low blood sugar could be the result of two things: not eating his normal amount of food or his body having an increased response to his insulin injection. Since Ed ate normally, we have to assume something is going on to make him more sensitive to the insulin. We have no idea what could be causing this, and its possible that even after many tests, we wouldn’t know.

We also discovered that Ed has likely developed glaucoma in one eye, has a heart murmur and possibly hypertension, and may have additional issues as well. The glaucoma is concerning since it is painful and the treatment indicated is frequently surgery, which Ed cannot have because of his diabetes.

For now, we have chosen to watch him and care for him the best we can. We are feeding him frequently to avoid low blood sugar and he is taking a low dose pain medication for his eye. We are trying to decide what to do next. Running a litany of tests feels not only financially impossible, but also not necessarily the most humane or compassionate thing to do for Ed. Making the decision to put him down feels equally impossible for my heart. So, right now, I am trying to love him at the impasse, until we can figure things out.

I would so appreciate your prayers, woo, positive juju, or whatever else you can spare.

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