Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Maybe If You Just Relax.



People will tell you

Relax.

Don't try so hard.

Things happen

When you least expect it.

But,

I'm still out there

Searching

For the unattainable

Miles and miles from home.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

To IVF or Not To IVF?


...that is the question. Indeed.

DH and I are scheduled to attend an IVF informational session this evening sponsored by the hospital. As it stands, DH and I agree that this is probably not for us. However, I don't want to dimiss something I'm not truly clear on. SO. We reserved our spot for the seminar. It is approx. 2.5 hours long and hopefully will answer most of our questions about the procedure.

I'm still on the fence concerning lap surgery. We recently switched insurance companies at work and found out that they will only pay after our $2500 deductible. Egads. I'm hesitant to have the surgery only to discover that RE can't find anything wrong...on the other hand, what if he does and it can be fixed. Back and forth. Back and forth.

In other news, my sister is coming to visit (YAY!) and we have plans to go to the tattoo shop. I need some touch-up work and my sister's girlfriend is getting something large and fabulous on her arm. I really love when they come to Connecticut! It's always a good time, no matter what we end up doing together. It'll surely be a nice diversion from our everyday worries. Have I mentioned that my sister offered to be a surrogate out-of-the-blue one particular phone conversation? I'll save that juicy bit for another day.

Fare thee well.
xxx

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I am Pelé




Leave me be.


Isolated.


A scratchy mantle


Like a shield


Covering my damaged surface ~


Cracked outer shell.


My dome appearance


Outwardly


Solidifying


To crusty cool.



Raging inside.


Million bits bursting


Blistered


Burning


Engulfed in flames


Spitting searing sparks.



Most active


Mountainous perception.


Massive internal swelling,


Nature's course.


Time's indication,


Violent expulsion,


Through that cursed gaping hole.



Down deep


Melting hot


Lava flow


Escaping from caverns below.


Unstoppable river force


Heavy


Thick


Slow-moving


Molten Red.



Stress intensity ~


Telltale sign


Towards consistent eruption occurrence.


Immense proportion


Causing great damage


Along its violent pathway


Vaporizing fragile landscape.


All life lost.




Copyright ©2008 Sarah B. Paquette

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It’s my body and I’ll cry if I want to.



I had my consultation appointment yesterday with RE concerning the options available to me since the ectopic. As it stands, there are (3).

  1. HSG to detect whether my right tube is now blocked from the ectopic. If so, IVF. If not, continue with IUI and hope for the best.
  2. Straight to IVF bypassing tubes altogether.
  3. Laparoscopy to determine if my tubes are blocked, cysts, anything that would prohibit pregnancy…or find nothing wrong at all.

I sat there with my mouth gaping open. In February when my ectopic was diagnosed and needed immediate response, I tried everything in my power to avoid lap surgery to remove my tube. Now, after (2) rounds of the demon methotrexate and my hCG level back to -0-…I’m still under the radar for an invasive procedure that may or may not find anything wrong with my body. An u/s revealed fluid movement around my uterus, so RE is quite sure he will find something awry with my innards.

Needless to say, I’m pretty upset. So upset in fact, I called my mother last night because I really needed someone else’s opinion of what is happening to me. My mother had (4) children of her own so I’m sure it is not easy for her to help me; however, I just wanted to bend someone’s ear and she came to mind. I could barely mouth a full sentence and I broke down in tears on the phone.

I do not like my mother to see/hear me vulnerable for many reasons. However, I really feel desperate. I feel as though the rug has been pulled out from under me and there’s really nothing I can do to change it. I’m faced with the ultimate decision – be happy with life as it is…childless…avoid invasive medical procedures, as I originally intended, and move on. OR, try every experimental gynecological procedure under the sun to help conceive my child while I’m still young-ish.

I’m just not eager to be sliced open like a grapefruit. I’m not prepared to put my body through even more medication distress; I’m not satisfied with living a completely childless life. I’m not ready to compromise. I’m starting to crack under the pressure.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How Do You Put a Title on Profound Thought?




Name Field: Blank.


Current Status: Blank.


Mood: Blank.


Classification: Blank.


Date: Blank.




I lay on my back with my naked skin touching the crisp paper wrapper. It crinkles and sticks as I shift side-to-side for a more comfortable position. Looking up, I notice the abstract mobile floating aimlessly above my head. Twisting wire is attached to assorted geometric shapes in primary colors of red, blue, and yellow. My eyes focus on the powdery dust that speckles their tops like heather-gray woolen caps.


The white lab coats walk through the heavy wood door and as if by involuntary reflex, my legs automatically spring forth. I slide my ass to the front of the table, rest my navy blue stripe stocking feet into the stirrups, and take a deep breath. Their voices are calm. Their smooth latex hands are cold. A rough cotton sheet covers my knees and thighs. I refuse to look straight ahead. My mind goes completely blank.



My eyes are closed while my other senses amplify. A chilly metal cone-shape gadget is inserted carefully in my open vagina. The mechanism pokes and stretches wide like the skeletal veins of a shoddy umbrella. I clench my fists feeling every slight peck and scrape of the razor tool. Seconds seem like hours. A salty tear slides down my weary face and delicately touches my dry cracked lips.


A maternal voice speaks softly. I nod. It gradually comes out of me, rests on a metal tray, and is traded for another foreign medical object. I can feel the muscles in my abdomen clench as the lubricated condom-covered dildo-like device is inserted deep inside. I squirm. The device swirls within, moving back and forth scanning my innards with high frequency sound so as to detect abnormal growths, rips, blockages, and worse: cancer. I can't see the small screen that projects an image of my womb, but I hear a slight mumbling under faint breath in a language I can't seem to comprehend. I agonize.


My heart beats wildly within the walls of my chest cavity as if it were about to feverishly burst. I wish my husband was holding my hand. I sink well-absorbed into the table's padding as if it were a rectangular pool of water. I am not there in the examination room. My mortal body is.


The tapping of leather soles on expensive footwear resounds throughout the space as if the procedure was occurring in an underground cave. It startles me to awareness. I'm empty and wet. Someone hands me a scratchy square napkin. I use it to blot my face.


It takes all of my strength to lift myself up. The ghostly figures move away and my gaze settles on my husband seated patiently in the corner. I yearn to sit on his lap and curl up into a little fetal ball. My internal clock resumes its instinctive ticking. I reach for the rumpled denim skirt hiding my blood-stained underwear and dress myself in anticipation of my next reproductive assignment. It hits me. Profoundly, we are already dutiful parents in a process of rebirth in our relationship where the initial creator key is due acceptance. What is done now is only the beginning.


"Sarah? This way, please."



Copyright ©2008 Sarah B. Paquette


Friday, May 22, 2009

Mental Gems, Diamond Mind

The weekend before Mother's day, our local tea shop hosted a Victorian tea. Being a small place as it was, I made reservations for my mother-in-law and me to ensure our spot. There would be a woman there, dressed in Edwardian garb, sharing Victorian tea etiquette whilst we ate cucumber finger sandwiches and biscuits and drank delicious teas.

mMmMmMm. Raspberry tea with fresh lemon:



I simply had to make something for the occasion...and in one day designed this necklace in pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style. The collage pendant was given to me by an artist ~ I wired the rest of it and added the rusty keys amongst other bits:


I brought the necklace to my next jewelry class and my teacher was quite impressed. She took a photo of it for the student gallery section of her website. To be honest, I'm really happy with how it turned out. Dare I say, I love it! Can I say that?! Anyway, it came out pretty awesome...the little girl on the pendant looks a bit melancholy...I can certainly empathize.

Oh yes! I nearly forgot to mention...there just had to be earrings that matched.



What, oh what, will I do next?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fragile. By Design

There they sat. A few were slightly slumped over while more of the same leaned against one another for gentle support. All aligned in pretty rows closely resembling 'Little Debbie' snack cakes haphazardly arranged on a party serving tray. Completely decorated from head to toe in attractive frill and flounce attire, evidently pristine from mushy food and playground romp deficiencies. Bodies full of pure fluff…their immaculate characteristics to match. Tiny dimpled hands grasped plastic teat decanters that delicately touched their pouty-lipped cherubic faces. Pairs of stubby chubby legs dangled freely from side to side. Bleached-white toothy smiles were fastened to artificial skin tones subtly colored in tan, brown, peach, and yellow blended hues. Blue and brown orbs reflected vacant stares seemingly resolute yet beseeching. Synthetic locks perfectly styled in braids, ringlets, or a straight-cut bob. Several had little silky strands scattered here and there on their roundish porcelain tops. A small number were as bald as the loss they dutifully personified...


Wide-eyed and hopeful, a desperate pair longingly gazed at each sugary delight, one by one. Their heavy thoughts pounded inside tight brain confines. Their hearts, suspended helplessly within frail bony frames, beat wildly like a dark cavity packed with rampant fluttering bat wings. Which one would they desire to hold close and dear? Expectant mother fingers reached out to make safe contact with the dainty display. And with that impulsive, well-meaning motion ~ a flash...


She will be present. and I don't want to deal. I have to. and plaster a smile. When all I feel is anger and hurt. and I'm supposed to be celebratory. with infant insanity all over the fucking place. people rubbing the spherical bulging tummy. telling the tired warm vessel how eager they are. Can't wait to meet the precious cargo. Can't help but mind. I was supposed to be first in line. and here I am. distraught.and jealous.and guilty. and last. there will be classic attempts to speak with me. in private. about matters which should not be any concern. Having been absent through the entire grueling fruitless process. one becomes bitter. yet there is still a certain affinity to talk.to a little girl with crushed hopes and dreams. Kindreds do not do what she does. especially to people they regard. I am alone.removed.detached. continually empty. Tomorrow is supposed to be fresh. Yet there is always the same grave misconception. buried deep. depths of despair. regularly arising. like a blazing phoenix. from grimy ashes of doubt.


A single alabaster figurine suddenly fell from the rigid dusty shelf and shattered. The ground collision, as ephemeral as a longing dream, shaped the illusive irreparable damage. Pieces of ceramic humanoid components, broken beyond recognition, scattered across the checkered linoleum floor leaving a permanent cracked expression on her disfigured face. She vanished. He calmly pulled a straw broom from the shadowy closet and silently wept, sweeping her fragmented bits into a waste pile destined for an empty bin.


Copyright ©2008 Sarah B. Paquette

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baby Train



As a self-proclaimed writer, it is not easy to admit the following information. I am all out of words these days. Nothing a thesaurus or incessant contemplation can fix, I'm afraid.

Mother's day came and went. I spent it with DH at the flea market and picked up a few trinkets. There were small children and mothers EVERYWHERE.

With that being my current state, there still is this...this feeling inside that I'm dying to express. I found a short poem that seems to fit the circumstance. It helped to read it. a little. But the pain is still there and hopefully tomorrow will be fresh...with more captivating vocabulary.



The journey from infertility to family,
someone once said,
is like taking a train ride;
Never knowing whether
you'll reach your desired destination.

There are plenty of stops along the ride.
And each of the passengers
makes it's own decision
when its time to get off.

Some never need to take the train.
Others ride it for a lifetime.
But whether you reach your destination or not,
pay attention to the journey.
If you will,
as painful as it is,
it may reward you in unexpected ways.

New York, December 2000

(c) 2000 Ronen Divon, All Rights Reserved.



Hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive my lax posting.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

May I see your tongue?


Kind of unnerving, isn't it? That particular question ~ someone asking to see your tongue. All of these thoughts sprint through your head like 'Did I remember to brush my teeth?' or 'Should I close my eyes or keep them open' or 'What does she see in there?' and the ever-popular 'Do I now say Ahhhhhhh?' Unsealing your mouth, protruding that pinkish slimy muscle forward, is like blatantly opening a window to the core of your soul. It's completely personal and usually you'll refrain from doing so. It is certainly not uncommon for parents to reprimand silly rascals from sticking their tongue out at each other or at irksome unsuspecting adults. So, what gives here?


Apparently, you can tell a lot about a person by the condition of their tongue. The one time that it's actually encouraged to stick your tongue out at somebody is in the acupuncturist's office. You see, according to ancient Chinese medicine, the tongue unveils a pattern of disharmony inside the body, revealing where your current state of ill health hails from and therefore, the acupuncturist can determine potential cures for those ailments with the appropriate care ~ perhaps using acupuncture, acupressure, herbal supplements, etc. The acupuncturist examines the tongue's shape and color ~ a normal tongue is pale red with a thin, white coating and a smooth shape whereas tongues showing disharmony may be pale, red or purple. Also, their coating may be thick, patchy, non-existent or yellow. Kind of gross, eh? Sure it can be…however, tongue diagnosis determines the method and length of individual holistic treatment. Who am I to balk at such an age-old practice?





Like clockwork, I am asked this very same question: 'May I see your tongue?' and each and every time, I feel completely awkward. Identical thoughts, as were illustrated above, race inside my head while she is copiously jotting notes about my wet mouth piece. I full well understand the procedure, but it definitely doesn't make the situation any easier. Maybe if Mom didn't always roar when my tongue blatantly exuded from its rightful toothy domain, I'd be more relaxed about it. OK. So maybe it just plain feels weird and I find myself producing exactly what I'm trying to alleviate ~ stress.


I'm not sure if the mental suffering outweighs the physical. While I squeeze my eyes tight and appear to lick the air, I begin to wonder if she really can see what troubles me. Can she perceive my tension? Comprehend my utter anxiety? Visualize my inner pain? Is it possible to distinguish dilemma caused by life circumstance simply by tongue appearance alone? Can she tell that neither of my parents called on my birthday or that I found yet another rigid gray hair sticking straight up on my youngish 32 year old head? Can she enlighten me to the reason as to why my Western medical procedures never seem to work like they're supposed to? Does she witness what I live through and how I cope on a daily basis? Will I ever conceive and carry the baby to term?





I stick out my tongue each moment she asks me and with every extension, I sincerely hope she can foresee and potentially heal my internal wounds…and I'm not talking about the 3rd degree burn on the roof of my mouth from over zealously ingesting a steaming cup of cream of broccoli soup too soon. Ow! I open my mouth and bulge my illness gauging device far and wide. Please unearth what's wrong. Please help. Please be right.


AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Egg Dance



Left foot in, right foot out, 1, 2,3. 1, 2, 3. Round and round. Now twwwwiiiirrrrllllllll. Skip and hop. Skip and hop. Now twwwwiiiirrrrllllllll. Chins up, girls! 1, 2,3. 1,2,3. Right, left, right.

I have been diligently performing an egg dance for a few years now. It seems utterly ridiculous and complicated. It is. I hop, and skip, and jump. Twirling around and around. Always with a smile on my face despite inner turmoil that swirls within. I never wanted to be a subserviant chorus girl, yet I am one of sorts.

OK. So why the hell am I going on a dissertation about egg dancing? I can't really answer that. An ovum epiphany popped into my head late last night (after a few congratulatory/mourning drinks) and it stuck there ~ lodged somewhere between brain matter and a matter of fact. Ugh. Lucid clarity at the bottom of the crystal glass. Hate that.

I had my "final" b/w appointment yesterday. RE's nurse let out an obnoxious whoop for my -0- results. She told me I should feel quite relieved and in fact, have DH and I considered our IVF option while pondering what my hCG count was to be each looming week? I stammered. I could practically hear her ballpoint pen clicking against her desk while she waited for me to spit out my decision. I twirled. Should I be expected to jump at the chance of IVF? Instant baby, right? I should just skip right over to RE's office, plunk my naked ass down on the scratchy paper covered table, and be ready and willing to conceive my dream child ~ from warm petri dish to cold uterus. Voila! While I scrambled for words, she then suggested that perhaps I should have a consultation with RE. YES! Why I didn't suggest that idea first leaves me completely dumbfounded. I knew that I wanted a consult. I wanted to ask if I could now ingest prenatal vitamins? I prefer to have another HSG to determine whether my right tube is clogged or not ~ can I make that appointment now? Work is switching insurance companies so is it possible that I'm covered for another (3) IUI treatments?

Oh balls. All of my questions, prepared and unprepared, simply dissipated into thin air. Not only am I a dancer, but also a friggin' magician. Fantastic.

RE's nurse briskly brushed me off. I was transferred to the receptionist who pleasantly assisted me in scheduling another appointment with RE to discuss our options. Apparently, I should be able to move forward with IF treatments as soon as next month. Perfect. I practically started menstruating after I hung up the phone. No, really. AF reared her ugly head the same day I was told -0-. Coincidence? I think not. At least I feel skinnier today! It's a good day when I can comfortably fit into my favorite pair of jeans. I struggle with the extra weight from the IF meds. I hesitate to start over again. 1,2,3. 1,2,3. Hop and twwwwiiiirrrrllllllll.

*******

I graduated from my wire jewelry techniques class on Monday night. Although her next class was deemed full, my teacher fit me into her wire sculpted cabochon class starting next week. I'm absolutely thrilled! I have pics of my latest wire pieces ~ a spiral link necklace and bracelet set with red Chinese cinnabar beads. I made the design up myself. It took me about 3 hours from start to completion....we had dinner plans and I was rushed towards the end, but I think it turned out OK. :)

My teacher asked if she could post photos of them on the student gallery section of her website. Of course, while blushing, I exclaimed YES!

'Ere 'Tis:


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Egg-Cellent!

My husband and I made a bet last night. We were trying to guess how low my hCG would be after today's b/w...and decided to make a game out of it. DH predicted 47. I dared to say 58. DH won the bet. My results were 45. I cannot tell you how relieved I am that he was right! Going by the track record, I was convinced that I'd be damn lucky if it reached 58 or below compared to last week's results of 105. Well, although I am sad that I don't get my choice of something from Etsy.com, it's fine by me that DH can pick an album from DustyGroove.com. As it happens, we're both vinyl-o-philes. LOL!

In case you're wondering, it's mortgage week and we curb any frivolous spending during that time. Today, we make an exception!

So, now I can rest assured that the hCG will completely dissipate in a timely fashion. I'm not required to go for more b/w until 4/28. By then, it should be down to 0, and Que Sera, Sarah can relax and enjoy the summer without having to worry about her empty womb.

*deep sigh of relief*

Friday, April 10, 2009

Eggs: To Dye For

Align Center

Well, the season of colored eggs is upon us. I plan to make wire jewelry with the new beads and supplies I plan to purchase today... Here is an example of my very 1st jewelry-making attempt ~ Solderless Copper Flower Chain Bracelet with Scroll clasp:




As of Tuesday, my hCG level is still in the friggin' 100s ~ 105 to be exact. I'm so frustrated and upset that this horrid diagnosis has been lingering as long as it has...as if to say, "HEY YOU, REMEMBER ME??!!" Oh yes, I remember. Clear as colorless crystal. In my estimation, it will be at least another 2 weeks before it reaches 0. Then, I may start taking prenatal vitamins again and get my life back on track. DH and I decided to wait at least 3 months before TTC again. I need the time away from my hollow uterus. Beading is taking precedence right now...and I couldn't be more enthused!

Happy Easter, everyone!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

1-8-9 ... was my number...whats my number now?

Stick it up, mister!

Hear what I say, sir, yeah...

Get your hands in the air, sir!

And you will get no hurt, mister, no no no


I said yeah

What did I say?

Don't you hear? I said yeah (yeah yeah)

Listen to what I say (what I say)


Do you believe I would take something with me

And give it to the police man?

I wouldn't do that, now listen to me one more time

I wouldn't do that


And if I do that, I would say "sir, put the charge on me"

I wouldn't do that

No, I wouldn't do that


I'm not a fool to hurt myself

So I was innocent of what they done to me

They was wrong

Listen to me, they were wrong


Give it to me one time

Give it to me two time

Give it to me three time

Give it to me four time


54 46 was my number

Right now, someone else has that number




Sorry. Had Toots and the Maytals in my head for some weird reason.


So. That's the current digits as of Tuesday. 1-8-9. RE's nurse told me my hCG levels are still going down, then she let out a little 'Yayyyyyy'. I chuckled. sorta. Then proceeded to make another hCG appt for the following Tuesday. At this rate, this b/w routine feels like it will never end.


I went to a healing/prayer circle last Sunday night. A good friend of mine suggested I accompany her for a bit of "re-charging" and I'll admit, I was quite curious. There were (7) women and (1) man in attendance...when the niceities finally died down and we got right down to business or shall I say, silent prayer, my mind began to wander once more to that far-off distant place...I envisioned running water, lush plantlife, and blue sky. Blue, Blue, Blue. Green, Green, Green. What does it mean? We bowed our heads and lifted our spirits to the high heavens ~ praying for ourselves, our loved ones, and for peace. Peace of mind. OK, I really don't know what the other folks prayed for ~ but I know that I felt settled in that moment of silent communion.

I really should be writing more often; however, I've been under the weather and drained. My body is tired and I suppose my mind is too. Random thoughts shooting and shifting this way and that way. I suppress the baby ideas way down deep as if they never existed. Probably not the best way to cope...but at this point in time, it's all about self-preservation.

I forgot to mention... when the healing circle came to a close and I was stuffing my arms into my coat, a kindly woman walked up to me, gave me a hug and told me that she felt a little girl in my presence. Apparently, this woman "feels" things about certain people. I smiled, turned, and closed the door behind me.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Insanity: A Memoir.

Insanity

Highly Overrated,

Simply Disturbing.

The Ultimate Revolution!

Letting Go.

Out of my mind.

Unfeigned Enlightenment.

Shooby Do Wop Wop Shooby Do.

Endless Memories,

Sporadic Thoughts.

Plumb Tuckered Out,

Amusing Label.

I am the Walrus Goo Goo G'Joob.

Silent Struggle.

Back To Bed.

Copyright ©2007 Sarah B. Paquette

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to Shell a Hard-Cooked Egg




B/w was scheduled for early morning yesterday to determine whether I was to get surgery today. Lucky for me, the hCG went back down to 218. No surgery! Hoorah!...or is it?!

I'll be the first to admit, I'm sick and tired of all of the travel as well as suspense involved with my reproductive system these days. I was totally resigned to losing my tube after everything I've been through, drove back and forth, back and forth, back and forth from the RE's office (an hour away from work), was told I may lose the tube even after 2 doses of the demon methotrexate, was then told that it wasn't necessary ~ the injections worked, then was told I may be losing it anyway because my hCG levels were back up again, now am told I'm not going to need lap surgery afterall. Egads!~

I really need to step away from all of this IF stuff for a while. I'll feel much better about starting over after a much needed break. My body is starting to feel back to normal ~ I can actually fit into my jeans! My intestines are still all screwed up, but overall, I feel pretty good. I'd like to start taking vitamins again...it's getting warmer outside and that means my routine 4 mile walk with Skoola Fazoola, my sweet 4-legged, will be well underway soon.

I attended my first wire jewelry techniques class last night and I absolutely loved it! My thumb only bled a little while twisting 16 gauge copper wire. :) Bought myself some trusty pliers and sparkly glass beads on sale today and am anxious to start making beautiful wearable art. I think it's a lovely way to take my mind off my uterus. I'm so happy it's spring...the season of colored eggs is upon us ~ oh wait...let's change the subject, please.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Going to Great Pains

Protocol for Medical treatment (Methotrexate) of Ectopic Pregnancy. Written by The Royal Oldham Hospital. Revised March 2001

Advantages:
Good success rates (More than 90%) in appropriately selected cases
Comparable to conservative surgery in terms of subsequent fertility
General anaesthetic avoided

Disadvantages:
Risk of toxicity: nausea, stomatitis, bone marrow suppression, pneumonitis, elevated liver enzymes
Repeated visits to ensure resolution of pregnancy

Selection criteria:
Clinically stable
Able and willing to attend for follow-up scans and blood tests
Early unruptured ectopic pregnancy
Under 8 weeks gestation
No free fluid on ultrasound scan
Ectopic sac <3cm>

Management:
Discuss with consultant
Counsel patient, obtain consent and give information on medical treatment of ectopic pregnancy
Blood tests:
FBC,
Group & save serum,
U& E,
LFT
hCG
Prescribe a single dose of intramuscular Methotrexate 50 (fifty) mg
(if weight is <50kg, prescribe 1mg/kg)

Discharge with following advice:
Avoid sexual intercourse
Avoid alcohol
Avoid folic acid
Ectopic may rupture.
To come back in immediately if feeling dizzy or exacerbated abdominal pain Avoid conception for 3 months

Follow-up:
Twice weekly hCG until falling, then weekly until <10iu/1
If hCG not falling, request ultrasound scan If no significant fall in hCG after 7 days, then consider either repeat methotrexate or surgical treatment (discuss with patient)

Note: hCG may fall slowly. Median time to resolution is 1 month Discuss contraception



******************************************

I was at work when I got the call yesterday from RE's nurse that my b/w results came back surprising (Note: RE hasn't seen this happen before). My hCG levels rose from 239 last week to 330 yesterday. Went back to RE for u/s which showed a significant change in the size of the cyst and halo of fluid ~ they were both barely noticeable. As RE put it, "don't want to put the cart before the horse", so I was advised to come back on Monday for more b/w and if the levels are still steadily increasing, I'm to get laparoscopic surgery to remove my right fallopian tube on Thursday (3/26).
Not to sound gruesome, but I have constipation...it has only been worse since I was injected the 2nd time with the demon Methotrexate a few weeks ago. Last night, when I went to the bathroom to pee before bed, my lower body was in total distress. I never felt it coming and then all of a sudden, I was suffering...hardcore. I turned white as a ghost and almost fainted a few times from the unbearable torture in my abdomen...not necessarily from my intestines, but the muscles too. I've never felt anything so excruciating in my life. I've had horrid constipation symptoms before, this fuckin' hurt a million times more. I could barely lift myself from the toilet for fear that the pain would get worse, laid my exhausted body on the bed, and writhed in agony. My husband totally freaked out ~ kept asking me if I should go to the hospital. All I wanted to do was sleep. I took some extra-strength tylenol, my husband rubbed my head, and I felt my body relax. Thankfully, the pain subsided enough that I was able to sleep through the night.
My reason for writing about this incident is that I've really been OK for the last 2 weeks. I've been feeling healthier except for the constipation on and off, and was starting to feel like my life was getting back on track. Then, I get the phone call at work yesterday that my hCG is rising, feel my heart skip a beat, anticipate surgery that day, am told to wait until Monday to determine the outcome, and then writhe in pain that evening. Coincidence? I think not.
It's official. god hates me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Moment to Myself



This was the very first art card I ever made. At the time, I was going through relentless mental anxiety ~ IF related, of course. Not sure if it was the clomid or doubts. Indubitably, I needed a way to expel what was seething inside. Collage art paved the way to alleviation. I've been skipping down its creative path ever since.

Friday, March 13, 2009

OnE mOnTH SuPpLy

EAST MEETS WEST: THE INFERTILITY CURE?



CHINESE PREPARED HERBS - TO NOURISH BI & YIN


TAO HONG SI WU TANG WAN (24 PILLS 2X DAY) UNTIL DAY 11


ESSENTIAL YANG (3 PILLS 2X DAY) - DAYS 12-17


FREE & EASY WANDERER PLUS (3 PILLS 2X DAY) - DAY 18 TO PERIOD OR POSITIVE PREGNANCY



SUPPLEMENTS


MULTI VITAMIN WITH IRON AND CALCIUM (1 PILL 1X DAY) - ONE TABLET DAILY WITH A MEAL


FOLIC ACID 800 MCG - (1 PILL 1X DAY) - ONE TABLET DAILY WITH FOOD



SELECTIVE ESTROGEN RECEPTOR MODULATORS


CLOMIPHENE CITRATE (2 PILLS 1X DAY) - TAKE 2 TABLETS BY MOUTH ON DAYS 5-9 OF CYCLE


NOVAREL INJECTION - MUST BE ADMINISTERED BY PHYSICIAN - INJECT SOLUTION (DO NOT SHAKE) IN UPPER THIGH/BUTTOCKS ON DAY 12 OF CYCLE


*******


The photograph illustrated above (of my typical daily IF prescription amount) was taken shortly after I swallowed my 2nd dose of Chinese Herbs suggested by my acupuncturist. At that time, I had been seeking medicated fertility treatment for 6 months ~ going to acupuncture 1x week for 3 of those months. My herbal concoction changed twice... each prescribed amount involved more herbs and less hope.

Before I decided to take the photograph, I stood in the kitchen, hovered over the counter, meticulously counting 24 tiny round black beads that were strangely attracted to each other due to the static electricity produced by my fleshy finger on the crisp paper towel, and an obscure gauzy veil lifted from sight. It all became quite clear...


HOW MUCH I cherish my baby even before he/she is born.


Woah.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oh, Bloody Hell

The nurse just called...my b/w results came back ~ the hCG levels dropped to 239. More b/w scheduled for next Wednesday (3/18). This is the routine for the next few weeks until the hCG reaches 5. At this rate, we're looking at the end of March to early April for my hCG to completely disappear. Then, I must wait (2) consecutive menstrual cycles to ensure that the demon Methotrexate is completely out of my system and will not affect a potential fetus. June seems sooooooo far away at this point.

In the meantime, I am faced with a decision to continue on an IUI journey and hope for the best... basically risking my chance for another ectopic... OR begin IVF treatment and bypass my tubes altogether. Dependent upon an HSG test, to show whether my right tube is still open, the doctor is leaving it up to us to decide how to proceed. IVF is much more invasive than I ever cared to experience.

Oh, what to do!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Egg Epistle




6/25/08



Dear Egg,


The doctor says that you are a delicious size comparable to a grape. What wonderful news to hear! I've been doing everything expected of me, you know. Steering away from my dark java morning addiction, practicing yoga at least once a week, meditating often, swallowing hormone pills on time, taking my temperature when I first awake from a sound sleep, resisting alcoholic beverages when I want them most, remembering to take Chinese herbal supplements twice per day, spending quality time with couples who have small children, eating wholesome foods and drinking room temperature water, as well as progressively reading the natural fertility guide books I was recommended by an expert.


I don't know, Egg. I'm not feeling so great today. The cramping becomes unbearable; the persistent anxiety gets to be too much. I blame myself. Perhaps I should have sought treatment a long time ago. Maybe it's too late - things can't be remedied. Times like these, I feel like a empty vessel becoming chilled to the core when determined attempts to house and nourish something as warm and tender as you go unnoticed and ignored. Who would want to snuggle inside an icy igloo when the alternative is affectionate bliss? Life's hands can be so cold. Mine are no exception. My attitude turns frosty while my heart radiates motherly warmth.


I know you're there, Egg. You are forever in my thoughts and silent prayers. I'm making changes, keeping positive, although some days are better than others. Can you sense when I stretch my tired limbs in quiet isolation? Are you satisfied that I am going to great efforts to ensure your protected survival?


Can you hear me, Egg? I want you to feel cherished. I am grateful for your existence. Are you thankful for mine? This ovulation process has been so grueling, Egg. There are days I don't think I'm strong enough to endure. I tense up at the slightest pang of discomfort. I cry alone. Do you experience my inner pain as well?


Why are some selected to bear ripe human fruit without their knowledge or consent whilst others contemplate and manipulate their delicate production and still remain solitary? Why does something seemingly so easy have to be so difficult? You appear to be a figment of my vivid imagination only to disappear when your presence is revealed to others. Everyone I know goes away in the end. Why should you be any different?


Dear Egg. I will continue to do what I'm supposed to do. Set my troubled mind at ease as the internal anguish is intolerable. Release. Find what you seek. Endure.


Please don't grieve for me, Egg. This too shall pass.

Dutifully Yours,


Mom?


Friday, March 6, 2009

Jesus Christ, Leave Me Alone!


Let me start out by saying that I am not here to offend anyone. I honestly believe everyone has a right to their individual beliefs and should be allowed to express them freely and without discrimination. However, just as I do not press my beliefs on people, I would appreciate that others follow suit. With that being said, I just want to clearly express that I do not believe in a god. I also believe that the bible should not be taken in a literal context but merely as a collection of intelligent fiction that blends legend with historical accounts and is meant to be symbolic literature taken with a grain of salt. Allow me to clarify ~ These opinions do not make me an evil human being.

When I was growing up, my parents brought me to church on countless Sundays. I was baptized, went to parochial school from grade school through high school, took communion, was confirmed, confessed my sins, and remained good friends with a nun who taught me in second grade. I have never believed in god. As much as I try to wrap my head around the concept, it all just seems so preposterous a notion to me. I am not comfortable praying to an invisible entity. I do not believe that kneeling down, clasping my hands, bowing my head, and pleading to the "guy in the sky" for forgiveness will ever bring me closer to bearing a child.

I am the oldest of 4 children and grew up in a discordant household. My parents' belief in god did not bring peace to my family nor did it miraculously cure the extreme disharmony that threatened to destroy it. I lived very fearful of my father and suspicious of my mother. One mild example, when we arrived home from church, all hell would break loose. My father demanded a hot breakfast, my mother complained that she didn't feel like cooking for 6 people. They would vociferously yell at each other...the kids would run and hide. This Sunday routine lasted for years and I eventually grew to hate anything that had to do with church. I'll refrain from writing about the abuse.

Long story short, my parents divorced after 25 years of marriage. My father and I were estranged for almost 8 years before I decided to invite him to my wedding celebration. I wouldn't say that our relationship has been repaired in any way...Now that I'm older, I've just learned how to cope with his antics a lot better.

*sigh*

I did eventually call my mother about the ectopic. She said some really poignant things. I felt relieved that I spilled my guts. I did not want to call Dad. I never feel like he listens and in all honesty, I was fearful of what he would say. He is a fire-and-brimstone christian and knows I'm an atheist...at least, he should. I told him numerous times that I do not believe in his god. SO. I took the easy way...and sent him an e-mail.

*************************************

My abridged letter to Dad:
Sorry that I haven't been able to keep in better touch. I've been seriously ill and just this week am trying to get back on track again. I missed 6 days of work over the course of February...not to mention the multiple excursions to the hospital and back and then trying to work in between. It has been a real eye opener and I'm happy to be well again!
DH mentioned that he told you that we are trying to conceive. As fate would have it, we are having trouble. We realized something was wrong and went to a specialist last January 2008 only to be misdiagnosed and have to go to another doctor about and hour away from work. Anyway, long story short, I got pregnant last month for the first time ~ however, it ended up being ectopic (the baby was growing in my right fallopian tube) and I had to have 4 injections of chemotherapy to resolve the issue. This has been an extremely emotional as well as physically trying time for me. I'm extremely lucky to be in good hands...some women die from ectopics. DH has been a wonderful support too. I feel much better, although I'm not out of the woods just yet. You take care and I'll be keeping in touch.

Love,
Sarah

This was his entire response:
My dear, Sarah -

I am so sorry to hear of your illness, and your disappointing period of conception. I am constantly praying for both of you to receive your hearts desires. I am not sure of how close you both are to believing in, and staying in touch with God, but I know He is there for those who trust in Him, and He will be there for them in times of need. I hope you turn to Jesus as your Savior, pray to Him for help, and then be patient to receive His blessings.
Sarah, I know it works, because I have been asking for God's help all of my life, when my life wasn't going in the right direction, and He has always been there for me. My life has always been up and down like everyone else, but in the end I have always come out on top again with His help, and all I did was ask for His help.
How you believe, and what you believe in is entirely left up to us as individuals, but if we truly want our lives to begin to head in a more positive, and pleasant direction, we have to believe it will, and make the necessary changes in our way of thinking, and put your Faith in the Truth, which is God's written Word.
I know, it's difficult to be a good follower of the true God in today's world, because the world has become so deceitful and immoralistic. We all have to live in the world, but we don't have to be of the world. We must remain the ones who believe, and stay the true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and live good, righteous lives in His honor. We will all then benefit through His Grace, and receive His Peace, Love, and Blessings.
A child born to a mother, and father, and husband and wife is the greatest gift of all from our Father God in Heaven, because only God can create this human life. We will continue to pray for both of you, and both of you continue to pray, and have Faith, and patience for your blessing to come, and it most certainly will. God will bless both of you, that's a reality.

Love, Dad



**************************************

All I wanted to read/hear was that he was there for me if I needed anything. Perhaps we could make arrangements for a visit and talk about what happened. God forbid, during these difficult times, he should take a stand as my father and really BE a father. He never was a good example. Why should anything change now?

I feel incredibly isolated when it comes to my immediate family. As I've mentioned before, I am close to my middle sister. We keep in touch pretty regularly and DH and I spend the nights there when we visit PA. I'm very grateful for our relationship...we survived plenty of shit growing up; however, I would like to feel some sort of pleasant connection with my parents...just once. I wish they would call me on their own. I wish they were capable when I need them most. I wish their god told them to help me. I implore them to listen for I'm going through hell.

Thee end.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Scrappin'...Honestly!



I was "tagged" with the Honest Scrap award by my sweet Fashionably Infertile e-friend on Thursday. I am honoured and happy to oblige.

'Ere 'Tis The Rules:

1) Choose a minimum of (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.

2) Show the (7) winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

3) List at least (10) honest things about yourself. I chose to list (25)...just because.


'Ere 'Tis My Scraps:
1. I must sleep in pitch black silence with a blanket over my shoulder.

2. I have this recurring dream since childhood that a troll/gremlin/scary black thing that I can’t really see hides under the bed and sloooooowly pulls my covers off. Sometimes I get pissed off and brave and try to catch the little bastard...to no avail.

3. I’ve loved Tori Amos since high school, especially when the Little Earthquakes album came out in 1992, but not so much since she got uberly popular. When an artist becomes mainstream, I usually ditch ’em.

4. There is a dark mole on the side of my nose tip since birth. Sometimes I have a tendency to stare at it in the mirror...secretly wishing it would just fall off already.

5. I lack patience...specifically when it comes to ignorant people.

6. To me, dish washing is the ultimate housekeeping curse.

7. I am obsessed with all things Victorian, especially paper ephemera and photographs. My collection has only gotten larger since getting a better paying job and a husband who thinks I’m cool and weird, not necessarily in that order...

8. I’m a granola-stalkin’ treehugger who strongly supports and encourages the fair trade movement; however, I just can’t get enough of the Anthropologie clothing store and I hesitate to discover what their ethical policies are for fear that I will never be able to set foot in one again.

9. I love bats and have wanted to study them since Mom bought me the Wildlife Treasury cards when I was 8. Is there such a thing as a Batologist?

10. I’m an extreme movie critic through and through. My husband will attest to the fact that I compulsively know actor and actresses by only seeing/hearing them in a film once AND I can usually spot a mistake without any help. It makes for an interesting movie night.

11. My husband is my best friend in the whole wide world.

12. I've always felt a certain affinity towards the Dodo.

13. I once wrote a letter to an egg. Mine.

14. I dye my hair pink and feel sheer elation when out of the corner of my eye, I see pinkish strands glisten in the sunlight.

15. I secretly want to sing in a Ska band.

16. I love to wear knee-high boots and long stripe socks.

17. I share a birthday with Frida Kahlo, the 14th Dalai Lama, and George W. Bush.

18. I am an eco-preneur who owns (2) earth-conscious websites ~ moondropclothiers.com and theconsciouschild.com .

19. (5) places I MUST visit before I die: Belgium, England, New Zealand, Tibet, and France.

20. My Blog. An electronic substitute for a hand-written journal...mainly because I'm too lazy to use a pen.

21. I wear French parfum everyday.

22. I really enjoy weird obscure surrealist art and film.

23. I wish my sister lived closer.

24. I am a collage art enthusiast and love to discover little stories within them. I've only just started to make my own...bringing my own little stories to life.

25. I have a large tattoo on my upper left arm of a lotus flower and ocean waves. Now that work proclaimed we are still receiving a bonus this year despite the economic downturn, I plan to elaborate on it...thinking a splashing koi will complete my half sleeve quite nicely.


So. I now bestow the Honest Scrap award to:

A Monkey Girl's Existential Drama

The Glimmering Prize

Hope Springs Infertile

Infertility Reality

Seaweed and Gardenias

Sugar Magnolia Creations

Who Shot My Stork?


**********************************************
My b/w results came back this afternoon and I'm happy to report the hCG levels have now dropped to 394. I'm scheduled for more b/w next Wednesday. (This will be the routine for the next few weeks until the hCG is 5.) My sister-in-law is in town on Saturday and spending the night at our house. I plan to consume a frosty adult beverage this weekend...even if it kills me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Time for Smiles

...yes, Indeed!

Photobucket

This small collage was finished a few weeks ago...or so I thought. I was trying out a new image transfer technique using packing tape and a bowl of water and chose the "Alice crowned as Queen Alice puts on the crown" image from one of Tenniel's Alice in Wonderland illustrations. I printed the small image on recycled copy paper, placed packing tape over top, cut around the image, flipped it over, then rubbed really hard with a bone folder to get the ink to stick to the tape. It was advised that I then dip the taped image into a bowl of warm water and let sit for 15 minutes. While the image is wet, rub and rub the paper into little pieces very carefully until it comes apart from the tape. The result is a transparent tape image to place on your collage. Voila! Wrong. I repeated those exact methods 3 times before I got REALLY frustrated. The piece of paper, in its entirety (not bits of pulp), came apart from the tape and sank to the bottom of the bowl. I believe my problem was I was using the wrong type of image. I needed a magazine scrap, a photo, etc. There just wasn't enough ink from the inkjet printer to stick to the tape.

The soggy paper image faintly turned muddy green from being immersed in water and when it dried out, I really liked the effect. What could I do with it? I was going to throw away my mistake. Then it occured to me. This recent collage came to mind. A crowned Alice fit perfectly seated in the corner with her "imaginary friends", who were also wearing playful hats. I added the tiny clock to fit its "time" theme and to match Alice and her issue with being late...or was that the pesky white rabbit? Anyway...I then found a watch crystal and placed it over top Alice to imitate a 'looking glass' and to relate to the girls using their vivid imagination while they have a tea party.

"Time for Smiles" is made on top of an old game card measuring 5.5 inches x 3.5 inches. I used collage sheet images for the (2) little girls and the oversized teacup hat, Victorian-style German scrap butterfly wings, gold pigment ink, white and yellow acrylic paint, tiny bronze brads, espresso brown archival ink, gold foil renaissance borders, a dictionary book scrap, typewriter font letter stamps, a vintage wallpaper scrap, clear stickers from K&Company, a tiny gold metal spoon charm, and an old watch face and crystal.

This whimsical piece was really fun to create and brought a smile to my face when I didn't think that was possible at the time. For me, Art has a tendency to heal.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cycle



Intense Anticipation.


Apprehension.


Hope.






Familiar Feeling.


Unwarranted.


Unwanted.






Emergent Pain.


Strain.


Reluctance.






Blood Drips.


Denial.


Disappointment.






Silent Struggle.


Smile.


Cope.






Inward Flow.


Solemn.


Swear.






Start Over.


Wait.


See.






Intense Anticipation.


Apprehension.


Hope.



Familiar Feeling.


Unwarranted.


Unwanted.






Emergent Pain.


Strain.


Reluctance.






Blood Drips.


Denial.


Disappointment.






Silent Struggle.


Smile.


Cope.






Inward Flow.


Solemn.


Swear.






Start Over.


Wait.


See.




Intense Anticipation.


Apprehension.


Hope.






Copyright ©2008 Sarah B. Paquette


************************************************

I wrote this piece feeling utter despair when month after month, my medicated treatments were not working. I'm not sure if I expected some sort of a miracle to take place once I ingested a tiny pill that joggled my brain and made me feel plum crazy all of the time. Clomid was a beast.

I remember posting this poem on a myspace blog and getting a response from someone that said something like "They always say when you let go of the control and realize it's out of your hands is the moment it happens....Relax...." I also remember feeling very angry and wanting to punch something after reading that. Of course, I did not learn my lesson and posted similar entries only to get similar remarks and want to punch things again.

I just heard from Dr. B's nurse. My hCG levels are steadily decreasing...from 659 to 544. I'm to go for repeat b/w next Wednesday. I suppose that I should feel relief that my life is getting back on track, but I'm still very sad about this experience and even now just want to sleep right through it.