Dec 30, 2016

Au Dieu 2016

in French class...we learned two distinctive phrases.

Au Revoir and Au Dieu.

Au Revoir was kind, meaning until we meet again.
You would say that to someone you liked.

Au Dieu...quite the opposite.
It means Good Riddance...a permanent farewell.

That's how I am letting go of 2016.
Although far harsher phrases have popped into my mind....Fuck You, 2016. Burn in Hell, 2016, etc...the anger I feel towards an entire year will be short-lived.

Do I ever, ever want to go back and replay this year? Hell to the no.
Never ever ever....but my mind has a funny way of re-hashing shit over and over, so 2016 will likely be burned in my memory forever. Sure, the edges will soften and I'll forget the really shitty times, but it will always be the bastard step child of my life.

As 2015 came to a close, we felt more prepared than ever to tackle whatever was thrown at us in 2016.
We knew we were headed into battle, we just had no idea how much of a battle it would be.

Grab a drink...this is long-winded.

January 5 - our IVF consultation with Dr. Jacobs
January 23 - Crash turned 10
January 26 - Our Genetic consultation
In between these meetings, I painted our entire home and updated our guest room and dining room.
We planned fun outings with friends and family.

February 4 - My dad's biopsy results came in, positive for prostate cancer
February 8-12 - Our parents genetic testing was completed and shipped off
February 15 - The first of a six week genetic probe set-up begins.
February 26 - We had our main floor bathtub refinished
In between, we did our tax return, kept working on the house, installed new lighting and met up with friends.

March 17 - Our PGD set-up is complete and successful
March 28 - I start birth control for our first IVF retrieval round.
My results come back showing higher blood pressure and low ovarian reserve. Our protocol is adjusted knowing my egg quality is poor.
We wrapped up our home renovations, went to a car show, attended birthdays and paid out the bulk of our deductible.

April 6 - Our first of many large medication deliveries
April 14 - Our nursing consult to learn how to set-up and take injections. Consents are due
April 17 - last birth control pill
April 22 - The start of stimulation medications for retrieval #1
Our company participated in a charity dodgeball tournament. We are able to get outside a bit more as the temps rise, and spirits are nervous but high still.

May 4 - Our first egg retrieval. We collect a measly 6 eggs.
May 11 - By Day 7 all of our embryos have died
May 13 - My brother is released from a 6 month stint in jail
May 15 - We head over to my parents for a welcome home bbq
May 17 - Our second medication delivery for round #2
May 20 - Round two stims begin
May 27 - Our English bulldog attacks our cat and breaks his jaw. We head into the ER for one of many surgeries. He is given a feeding tube and we begin round the clock feedings and medications.
May 30 - We trigger on Memorial Day for a June retrieval
During this month, we open our pool, take our first boat ride, I get a hair cut and we enjoy the nicer weather.

June 1 - Our second egg retrieval. We collect 7 eggs.
June 3 - I am on PTO for retrieval recovery and take our cat in for his second surgery to re-work his jaw. This begins a six week recovery.
June 7 - We get the call that ONE embryo makes it to Day 6 and is biopsied. This ends up being our future son that I carry for 10 weeks.
June 13 - I start birth control pills for our final egg retrieval round.
June 21 - My mom's birthday, and follow-up consultation with Dr. Jacobs, who changes our protocol for round 3 and reiterates my poor egg quality may not give us the results we are hoping for.
June 24 - My third medication delivery for round 3.
June 30 - Crash is taken to the vet for his first ear hematoma. It's drained and he is on the mend.
This month my dad starts to slip back into a depression. His antics to constantly be checking in on my mom and my brother again take a toll on the family. We push for outpatient therapy and rehabilitation.  Mark and I push on with a few summer plans and boat trips, always leaving early to feed the cat through his tube.

July 3-5 - 4th of July long weekend trip on the boat. A  nice change of pace and semi-relaxing weekend.
July 6 - 3rd medication delivery
July 7 - specialty compounded medication delivery (microdose lupron protocol)
July 8 - Shots begin. Escalating up to 5x a day.
July 23 - Burn turns 5
July 24 - Final egg retrieval. Most eggs retrieved to date: 16
July 31 - Our 6th wedding anniversary. We get the call that 4 of our embryos make it to blast and are biopsied. We are done with the injection/stim rounds and head into genetic testing

August 3 - The cat's feeding tube is removed and we scramble to work with his new jaw placement which didn't heal properly.
August 4 - I start birth control pills for our first transfer
August 16 - We receive the results of our genetic pgd testing. Of the 5 embryos tested, we have 2 normal embryos; one boy and one girl. We choose to transfer the girl first.
August 21 - My 33rd birthday
August 27 - We finally get out of the house for a date to see a comedian
I submit our genetic testing claim to the insurance this month...which ends up sitting in limbo for 3 months and then ultimately rejected for coverage. We still find a few weekends to lounge in the pool and soak up summer.

September 2 - 5 Labor Day weekend. We host my cousin and throw a Labor Day party.
Mark turns 38.
My dad's depression is at an all time high and he smashes out a window in my mom's car without realizing it. Mark and I make the choice to have an ambulance pick him up for in-patient treatment. We work to repair my mom's car and continue with transfer medications at the same time.
September 16 - Our first transfer. This same day I get into a yelling match with my dad as he doesn't realize we even had our transfer as his anxiety and depression have taken over.
September 27 - Our beta is negative. The transfer fails.
I spent the next few weeks processing this news and coming to terms with our failure.
I stop medication and get a rashy-itchy reaction to stopping the progesterone in oil.

October 3 - Baseline for our final transfer. We keep this timeline a secret for our sanity.
October 11 - I get an endo scratch
October 13 - I start transfer meds; ganirelix and minivelle patches
October 15 - We visit a haunted house with close friends
October 16 - Dinner at Maggiano's for my dad and bro's birthday
October 28 - I pay off our huge credit card
This month I tried to stay positive and festive. We meet up with friends for dinner and a couple date nights. We spent Halloween rolling around our neighborhood giving out candy in the golf cart.

November 2 - Our second transfer
November 6 - Election Day
November 7 - The day the entire United States divides and people who were formally friends turn against each other in fits of rage. Facebook becomes a nightmare and I swear off social media for a bit.
November 14 - Beta day. It's POSITIVE. I'M PREGNANT. Number was 435
November 16 - Beta #2, numbers are rapidly increasing to 1,119...more than doubling
November 23 - first ultrasound showing our little baby embryo, measuring 5 weeks, 5 days.
November 24 - Thanksgiving. We proudly share the news with family
November 25 - Shrimp Boil. We proudly share the news with our friends
This month we mailed out announcements to our extended family and go "facebook official" with our pregnancy on the blog. We are going to have a son next July!!

I have weekly monitoring through 8 weeks, 5 days.
Crash's health starts to rapidly decline and we are forced to put him down on December 10th.
The day before, at 8 weeks, I have my first bleed scare. The nurses can't find the source of the problem, but our baby is still measuring on track with a strong heart beat.
I feel disconnected from the pregnancy. We mourn the loss of Crash for weeks. We keep up spirits with my Company Holiday party and my annual Christmas Party.
My brother gets in trouble with the law again and will be spending the next few months back in jail/rehab.
I become furiously sick just over a week later. I miss my exit interview with Dr. Jacobs but am told to stop injections on the 20th.
On Christmas Eve my miscarriage starts and ends December 26th.
We are devastated.

So there you have it.
We went from hope, to worry, to joy, to devastation.
December was by far the hardest pill to swallow.
Two losses in a matter of weeks has made us question our sanity at times.
2016 gave us more life lessons and set-backs and hurdles than we could have ever imagined.
I am truly blessed that we took it by the horns and survived and thrived as a married couple.

We are both working through the emotions of all of this.
We know we are both eager and ready for better luck and news in 2017 and beyond.
I know many, many people have harder situations, but the amount of bad or poor events that occurred back-to-back this year has brought us to our breaking point.

I have replayed the last couple weeks of my pregnancy countless times in my head, and I truly believe I simply overlooked some signs that it wouldn't keep. Starting at 8 weeks with our bleed scare.  I know bleeding is common in early pregnancy, so I brushed it off, to avoid looking like a crazy person. At that point I started to feel disconnected from my pregnancy, like I was taking it for granted or something, and felt guilty.
I realize now my symptoms started to lack. I quit having to get up to pee overnight. My boobs deflated a bit. I generally just felt....lighter.
I also remember reviewing my exit paperwork from the IVF clinic...the last couple of ultrasounds had conflicting information on them, like the baby may have been measuring behind by a few days to a week at one point.

I am convinced that although we did everything we could to avoid any genetic issues, and I believe we succeeded, the reality poor egg quality and Mark's poorer sperm quality simply didn't yield healthy embryos. They were slow to grow. We didn't get the numbers we should have.
Simply put, we were lucky to come as far as we did, but without the support of massive amounts of hormones, pills, and injections, our little guy didn't stand a chance.

The minute I stopped those injections, it was over. What little life was left in him, simply could not keep.

I am furious. I am angry and saddened and every other emotion imaginable.
Mark's coping mechanism is to move on and forget this whole fucking thing ever happened....I am looking to slap a band-aid on it.
I want my baby.
I want to be pregnant again and build a nursery and welcome a summer baby.
I want a baby so badly now more than ever that I can't think straight.
This chance at life was literally ripped from my body and I'm fucking pissed that I can't look at his little box of clothes without choking up.
I can't stand to look at that room that was going to be his nursery.
I can't believe he no longer has a heart beat.

But I also know this is a phase of grieving.
I know that with time, I will soften my edges with the anger, and harden my heart from the pain.

As for the future?
I don't know, really.
I know we need a break. A real, long, frivolous, care-free break.
Back-back cycles and back-to-back failed transfers and a miscarriage and the death of our beloved pup and stress from family, has finally caught up with us.

I know I promised Mark I would be done with IVF after this monumental year.
And I think that if the second transfer failed as quickly as the first, I would be standing firm in that decision.

But....I now know I can get pregnant, and I do feel like I can stay pregnant, as long as we can try and find the source of this failure.

My poorer egg quality and time are working against that, and I know in my heart of hearts it's the biggest reason for all of our hurdles.

I have already reached out to our genetics lab and our IVF doctor, to see what their opinions are.
I never imagined going through the IVF ringer again...three times seemed like enough for me, especially back to back, but I'm wavering these days.

I just want this so badly now that it's been ripped from me, I could do something crazy.

I DO believe I can carry a pregnancy.

I have a follow-up consultation this afternoon to go over everything with Dr. Jacobs.
His opinion will determine what happens in our future.

I don't know if I will ever be a mom in the traditional sense.
But I do know we can be a really good aunt and uncle in the interim.

So, Cheers to a New Year.
To new beginnings, to new adventures, to new loves and to a better life.
Thank you for reading and continuing to support our dream. XO


  1. Tia, I belive that whatever you and Mark decide for your future will be the best decision for your marriage. I don't know if adoption, outside of 4-legged babies, is an option...I do know that any child would be blessed with you both as their parents. Stay strong, stay amazing and never close your heart to possibilities. My love and hugs to you both. May 2017 bring you blessing front and center and some in disguise.

  2. Let's burn 2016 to the ground! Praying for you guys. I love your vulnerability and willingnesss to find any slice of good even in the middle of the crazy mess. We are here for you and will cheer you on in whatever comes in the new year. Love you girl!

  3. Infertility is such a roller coaster. I wonder how I can keep putting myself through this, because it makes no sense to throw good money at something is so miserable and uncomfortable -- it's just stupid. In talking about it with my therapist, she said that having a child is not a logical, rational desire -- if we thought about it logically at all, no one would ever do it! So I think it makes sense for you to consider trying again. It seems like each time you got closer and closer. Thinking of you and Mark as you deal with your loss and decide what to do next, and I hope you're both getting the support you need. I know it's not for everyone but therapy has been a lifesaver for me in dealing with the emotions of IVF. If you can find a good one, they're worth it!

  4. I don't have any answers obviously but perspective and time does help in any life changing experience. I never say never anymore with certainty. In 6 months or a year you might have a different opinion about what to do or not to do.Take the time, it sounds like you guys have had one hell of a year. Hugs honey!

  5. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I have been thinking of you like crazy. Furious is exactly how I felt after my 12 week loss. I was so angry, and people around me couldn't really understand that. You will always want your baby, even if you get another baby. I so understand. Everything you have written here, I could have and did write if not on my blog in my journal. On the future front, definitely take your time making a decision, but I'm intrigued in what your doctor has to say. We chose not to biopsy the fetus after our late loss, but truly believe that chromosomally it was normal but just...weak. We suspect my husband has some DNA fragmentation because of some stuff in his family history, but only some doctors even believe that can cause losses and even if you find one who will test for it it's $5000. They couldn't give us an alternative explanation and gladly used donor sperm, and this pregnancy has been so different from my previous two. Trust that intuition. If you believe you can carry a pregnancy and it's the eggs and sperm, and want to try again, go with that. I don't know how Mark would feel about embryo adoption, since you pretty much skip straight to transfer, or how either of you would feel about that emotionally, but if you decide you want to pursue pregnancy, it may be something to look into. We were heavily leaning that way at one point.

  6. Oh Tia, you have so much going on right now w/ your dad, brother, losing that sweet Baby and your beloved dog - give things time to heal and don't let hormones make you do something crazy (I agreed to move an hour from home b/c of my hormones once). I'm glad you are talking to your dr, be sure to talk to Mark as well! You need each other so dont' let this push you apart. Prayers for a really great 2017 for you both!

  7. GOODBYE 2016 is right. I've said it before and I will continue to say it, I am routing for you and Mark in whatever you two decide that may be. I am here for you and love you both and completely 100% your emotions right now. Totally 100% warranted. Please continue to rest and grieve and take care of yourself.

  8. You had so much go on in 2016 and handled it all with grace. Your 2017 will be an amazing year of growth.