Sunday, May 6, 2012

THE 2 WEEK WAIT




For those who understand or are going through fertility treatments, you've heard of or have been through what we call the 2 week wait.  For those who don't - the 2 week wait (2 ww or tww) is a 2 week period of time between receiving fertility treatment to conceive (ie IUI or IVF) until the time we learn if we are or aren't pregnant.  Chris and I had our third IUI (intrauterine insemination) treatment the 23rd of April.  Within these two weeks, my body has either possibly conceived or is doing it's thing to get ready for the next cycle.  Unfortunately there's no way to know because blood pregnancy tests can't really detect if we are pregnant until about 2 weeks.  In these 2 weeks, there's not much else to do but.....w a i t.  Some doctors will wait even longer to test, which I can't possibly imagine.  Most home pregnancy tests (HPT) aren't sensitive enough to detect pregnancy this early, so a blood test sometimes is the only way to go.  It's either that or you wait and see if and when your next cycle starts. 


So we have our blood test Monday...exactly 2 weeks after our procedure.  They are checking for Beta levels (beta hCG).  This is a chemical produced by cells in the placenta that nourish the embryo after implantation (after the embryo becomes embedded in the uterine lining).  Levels can be detected about 12 to 14 days after conception.  This is the first time I've refrained from taking a HPT on my own.  Not taking one is the hardest thing to do but I can't torture myself.  If it's negative, I usually come up with this grand reason in my head as to why and somehow convince myself it must be wrong.  This time, I'm just going to wait for the results of the blood test - we get a call from the doctor with the news maybe Monday, but most likely Tuesday.  With our first IUI, I never made it to the blood test because my cycle started before I even made it there, confirming the procedure failed.  Last time, I did make it two weeks but was still disappointed to find out it was negative.  Waiting for that phone call for two days was complete torture...I must have checked my phone every 5 minutes.  In retrospect, I'm glad I received that call at the end of the day.  I had to work that day and after the news couldn't bare to continue.  I hope I'm lucky enough this time to get the news later in the day for sanity sake.  I'm no longer a rookie at this point, so I've tried to figure out ways to keep me sane.  Most people dealing with treatments will tell you that they have a few dates burned in their head...most probably are bad days.  Mine was March 9th....after the phone conversation with the doctor that our second IUI failed.  That was by far the hardest and worst day of my life and I'm doing my best to not re live it.  A few hours after the phone call, my cycle started and the news was re confirmed.  NOT a good day.  As I mentioned in my last post, the difficult thing with infertility is that we relive the sadness each and every month and don't really have time to grieve because the next round of treatments starts immediately.  I grieve each and every month for a baby I've never been able to have.  I still love that baby more than life itself even though it's not real yet.  I don't think people recognize my loss because no one actually died.  But of piece of me DID die!  With death, people see your loss and understand it.  With infertility, no one sees my loss and few understand that the loss is just as significant.  Yet, most people either choose to ignore it or say a quick "sorry" and expect me to get on with life. In a way I'm glad most people don't understand, because that means they've never experienced this.  I wouldn't wish this problem on my worst enemy.  I feel inclined to help others understand treatments, what we are going through and gain sensitivity to how we feel.  


So the closer it gets to the two week mark, the harder waiting gets.  It's hard not to over analyze what your body is feeling.  For example, if I get tired easily I try to convince myself it's a sign of pregnancy, when actually it's probably something else.  There have also been times, closer to the two week mark, where I find myself refraining from going to the bathroom.  I am heartbroken when my cycle starts again, so somehow I think that avoiding going to the bathroom will delay it.  


A week from today is Mother's Day.  In my head lately, it's all I think about.  This is the first year I am dreading mother's day because it's just a reminder of who I'm not.  I've never had the joy of someone calling me mommy.  It seems everywhere I go it's thrown in my face...at the store:  "free gifts for mothers" or in the mail is an advertisement for mother's day brunch, the list goes on. These are all things that I can only participate in as a daughter, not a mother.   How can I celebrate a day that's just a reminder of the hell I'm dealing with every day?  Some people don't get that this isn't a happy day for everyone.  Who's going to remember me on mother's day?  

5 comments:

  1. Hey Rachel- I remember you posting about doing your 3rd IUI a little while back (13 days ago it seems!) so I went to your fb page today to find out how things went... So I read your blog today and thought I'd just let you know that every word you said could have come right out of Mary's mouth or off of her blog page. (http://mary-ourstory.blogspot.com/2012_05_01_archive.html)
    So you're not alone. I think it is so awesome that you are being vocal about your fertility struggles and giving a face to the cause... which is why I'm so proud of Mary too. I'm not sure if you've talked to my sister at all about your common journey but she did IUI twice and IVF once (the IUIs did not work for her and the IVF resulted in a chemical pregnancy). I think it's awesome that you have the willpower not to test at home right now and I am hoping and praying that this week you get awesome news... and that this will be the start of you loving and looking forward to Mother's Day! Also- don't lose hope or faith... it will happen for you. It's just a matter of how and when :)

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  2. Rachel,

    From someone who has never even met you, it breaks my heart to hear your struggle and if there were any words of encouragement I thought would help, I would offer them. I can hear the dark place you are in and I feel I may be in that place sooner rather than later as well. As I previosly stated, I'm still in the rookie phase but it looks like I am on my way to my first attempt at IUI later this summer unless a miracle happens by then. A friend contacted me lastnight, the one who took almost a year for pregnancy and then miscadrried. She went through IUI last Monday and lastnight she was feeling very anxious and feeling like it was not a success. She stated how torturous the waiting is. And yes, it is.

    I truly hope, with all my heart, your latest treatment on April 23 will be the last one and I hope April 23 will not be a date burned in your head for a negative reason, but for a joyous reason.

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  3. To my point of view that's what I call a flawless blog article! Do you use this domain for your private joy only or you basically exploit it as an additional source of income?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The intention of the blog is purely to let close friends and family understand what is on our plates. Along the way I hope to help others in our situation realize they aren't alone as well as to educate people what a day in the life is of someone who can't have something they so badly want. So to answer your question....it is purely for personal/educational purposes and not a source of income. I enjoy writing as well as thought it wold be a good stress-reliever too. Each person has something in life they are passionate about or affected by...this just happens to be mine and how I chose to deal with it rather than sit back and let it take over my whole world.

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