Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow days

Well, as I'm sure most of you know, Seattle is in the middle of a snow storm. The drop in temperatures and the accumulation in precipitation has resulted in the city being shut-down, except for essential services. We're currently lucky to have power (no overly large trees in my neighborhood to interfere with power lines), but not everyone is. It's all suppose to start melting by tomorrow.

Probably the thing about this storm that has gotten the biggest amount of attention is Seattle drivers. I've seen my share of videos, with cars sliding around and into one another. Looking out my window, I can see the result of some of those encounters. Don't get me wrong, I've done my fair share of head shaking, but I do need to point out one thing that is generally overlooked when people are watching all of this: Seattle has some steep hills.  Steep enough to sled down when you get a few inches of snow. It's bad enough that even a seasoned winter driver as myself knows to stay away from the hills and to walk vs. drive. Where I start shaking my head is after watching people who attempt these hills and, without fail, lose.

Anyway, I digress.

Because of the weather, the past two days I've been home. This normally wouldn't be something that I would be frustrated by, but considering I was out sick on Monday and barely functioning on Tuesday, I'm really to be back in the world. Or at the very least, not stuck inside.  The reason I was out sick? Well, Sunday night the cramps started to intensify. By Monday morning I had full-blown menstrual cramps, ones that I haven't had since before I went on birth control at age 20. And with the cramps came bleeding.

Monday was spent trying to figure out how to manage the pain and bleeding. The bleeding wasn't overly heavy, but it wasn't spotting either, which initially had me a little bit worried. After all, I thought they had removed everything during the D&C, so I wasn't expecting anything like a normal menstruation. The cramps were a new challenge: Advil helped, but the heat pad actually made them worse. It took me a couple of hours to finally figure that one out, during which time they came in intense waves. I broke down after hour two and called the REs for advice. Despite the weather, Dr. Practical called me back immediately and calmed me down. Based on what I was experiencing, she wasn't too worried, but she recommended no heat pad, more Advil and to call her back if things didn't change so they could start pain management. This left the heat pad for Jaxson, who spent the next couple of hours after that laying completely prone on it. At least someone was happy.

By Wednesday, all the cramps were gone. And outside of some spotting, I'm back to my pre-IVF state. It's almost like November-early January was a dream. A long dream filled with so many emotions and a sad ending. Usually with those, I'm happy to wake up and tell myself that I'll never have to live through something like that. But in this case, me feeling better has had me beginning to worry about the FET that is looming. What that experience will hold.

To be honest, I'm a bit terrified of this next step. Not because of the physical discomfort from the medications and the procedures, but because I don't want to have another failure. I know logically that we do need to proceed, as staying in a state of doing nothing is ultimately worse. But losing another pregnancy is not something I want to go through and I'm terrified of the thought of doing a FET only to be back in the stirrups for another D&C.

Because of all of this, I've been doing more reading into reproductive immunology. This is a topic that is still quite controversial, with people falling into two camps: it's relevant or it's not. Because of this, finding articles from reputable journals has been hard. I'm not going to lie, there's some junk out there. There are people who write things that make little to no sense to me, covering up their hogwash with jargon in hopes of convincing everyone that the reason they don't understand is because they're not as smart. If I've learned one thing during my time in science, it's that these people are liminal and not to be trusted. But, there are some good articles: doctors and scientists who are interested in educating the public about this area and are trying to help.

Where I'm going with all of this is that I'm thinking about talking with my REs next Monday about the possibility of autoimmune disease. My family now has a history of type I diabetes and for the past year, right before I start menstruating, I've developed eczema on my eyes. That and the fact that we now know that Grey and I can make embryos, but there seems to be a problem with implantation suggests that it's worthwhile asking. And, to date, my REs have been very good about talking with me candidly. Yes, there's a risk of them blowing me off, but considering they haven't done so to date, I find it unlikely.

Today, though, all I intend on focusing on getting Grey outside, making some snow angels and finding some hot chocolate. I'm leaving you with a photo of two very happy kitties and a song that makes me want to dance.

Nice and warm in their condo


  1. Glad to hear you're weathering the Pacific Northwest's weather, even if you are going a bit stir crazy inside.
    Our problem also seemed to be with implantation, as embryos were created, but cycle after cycle, they just didn't stick. It is very difficult knowing that it is your own body that just fails. I know I was down about it quite a bit. I hope your body decides to cooperate again soon.

  2. You obviously know that terrified is a common feeling around here. I've been trying to wade through autoimmune information, but am not having luck so far.

    Now get outside and dance in the snow!

  3. I'm hoping that your RE's will listen to you. Maybe this FET will be the one?

    I dread AF because of the cramping. Sorry this one had to be so painful.

    Oh and the snow here on JBLM (Tacoma area) is bad enough that trees are falling down and blocking one of the gates. The roads are rutted with ice.

  4. I'm hoping you are able to find the answers you are looking for, Cristy. Sorry you had to go through such painful cramping and bleeding after everything you have already been through.
    Take care.


  5. Stay safe out there in all that nasty weather! Hope that you have a good discussion with your RE's about all of this.

  6. I wish I could send you some sun. Although, snow angels and hot chocolate sounds awesome!
    I'm glad that the cramps are gone and you're feeling better. Please let us know how the talk with your RE goes. xoxo

  7. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog the other day... it really is nice to know we're not alone. I'm curious how your talk with the doctors goes, as I'm gearing up to have a similar conversation with my RE (and if we are in fact at the same clinic, I'm guessing she is who you refer to as Dr. Practical).


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