Saturday, April 5, 2008

That Crazy Lady

Today I turned into that crazy lady. The one that visited me when I was in my mid-20s, settling in for a nice nervous breakdown. The one that still makes cameo appearances during the holidays, or when I’m dealing with my mother. The one that shows up randomly during infertility treatment and makes me feel helpless and hopeless.

It’s not like IVF is going badly. But we got some bad news today that has really shaken me. After 4 months of J doing everything he can to improve his sperm quality (other than lose 50 pounds, which I’m sure would help too—says the bitchy and bitter crazy lady), it appears that his sperm have not improved, and might have even gotten worse. My RE didn’t have his old numbers to compare to, but his count was really low. He’s really bummed, and I just feel crushed.

Part of it might be my fault. When a guy with poor sperm ejaculates too soon before he needs to deliver the goods, he can reduce his count (because the spermies have to build up). But if he waits too long, the morphology can get all screwy (because the spermies get bored in there?). Last week, when the RE had told me that the trigger would be on Sunday or Monday, I’d asked her when he should, um…. “Ejaculate?,” she filled in for me? (Love this doc.) She said he should do it Sunday. But then we didn’t trigger on Sunday, and on Monday I forgot to ask again until it was evening and I had no one to ask. So after debating the matter, I suggested that he go ahead and pull the trigger, so to speak. I figured a low count was less critical than poor morphology (because we do ICSI), but mostly I was just guessing. Maybe I guessed wrong. And now I don’t know if the low count is because his sperm are just getting worse no matter what he does, or if it’s because he only had a 36-hour buildup. I know he was really counting on some improvement.

I have to admit, I’m kind of pissed off at him as well. Which isn’t surprising, as I’m feeling angry in general and want to lash out. But why is it MY job to know what he’s supposed to do to make his sperm the best? I even asked him a few times to go see a doc himself about this, maybe even to get a straight-up sperm analysis before this cycle, but it ended up always being me asking the questions, me trying to figure out what vitamins were best, and then me trying to figure out when he needs to jerk off. It seems that I have enough to worry about with my own side of IVF. Can’t the sperm be HIS job??? (If this cycle doesn’t work, this is totally changing for the next cycle. I’m done having to micromanage the whole thing.)

Before you start feeling all horrible for me, let me tell you that my RE actually called with pretty good news. It’s day 2 (if you don’t count retrieval day), and we still have 11 embryos going. Two have dropped to between 5 and 6 cells—I expect those to drop out of the race by tomorrow. But the other 9 are all at between 8 and 11 cells.

So why was this news about J’s sperm such a blow? Because I need something about this cycle to be DIFFERENT than before! If it’s the same, then how can I feel like we’re going to get a different outcome? And even thought this is our first post-surgery cycle, my fibroid hadn’t caused any of my miscarriages. It might have done so if the pregnancies had stuck around for longer, but it just wasn’t a factor. The factors apparently were: (1) embryo quality, and (2) chance. I can’t control chance, but I really wanted to improve the quality of our embryos. Now it seems like we’re just replaying an old script, and I feel like I already know the ending.

I also suspect this crash is more physical than emotional. This happened in both of my prior cycles, but I had blamed it on outside circumstances. Now I’m thinking that the problem is more hormonal than external. There must be some post-retrieval hormone crash, as my body cycles off the stims, gets jacked up on progesterone, and has at least 13 follicles dissolving to create the mother of all luteal phases.

So I’ve been getting agitated for the last two days, and the sperm news pushed me over the edge. To top that off, my car wouldn’t start this morning, and J’s working 18-hour days this weekend, so I’m stuck at home all by myself, staring into space, thinking about how depressed I am, and how much I want to do something that will make me feel better, and how much I wish I could think of something to do that doesn’t involve strenuous exercise or driving anywhere. Tried watching a movie, but I was too agitated. Tried reading a book, but I was too fussy. Then at about 2:00, J called to check in and I just started crying. He suggested that I go outside, but I batted that idea aside. He suggested that I call a friend and I weepily told him that I didn’t want to talk to ANYONE. Then he just sat there feeling helpless while I cried. Yup, crazy lady is in residence.

Eventually I decided to harness the crazy into getting something done. I figured, if I’m going to feel like crap anyway, why not clean my stove? (Mind you, it’d gotten so filthy I was starting to worry about small fires breaking out under the burners.) So I put on some alternative rock, very very loud, and attacked my kitchen. Scrubbed the stove, the front of the cabinets, the area behind the sink faucet, the dish drainer, the toaster, my spice rack—everything in that area. I even refilled the spices in my spice rack.

I’m feeling a little better now. I’m still fussy and sad, but on the upside, my kitchen looks fantastic.


Ms. J said...

Can I be jealous of your sweet kitchen?! Ours is WAAAAAY ugly (came with the house). "HATE" is too kind of a word to describe how we feel about our kitchen, LOL.

On to more serious matters . . . sometimes I have wanted to pummel my husband for his "funky-headed sperm," my code phrase for his poor morphology (count and motility fine). I often wished the motility were the problem, so I could blame him his lazy proclivities for the problem (weak attempt at humor, here).

But his jism is the main & ongoing source of our fertility challenges. He's had three sperm anaylsis, the first showed the morphology as only 4% being normal. Then second showed 6% being normal. THEN he went on some fancy "men's fertility blend" of vitamins (read EXPENSIVE) for a couple of months, and his third SA showed his morphology to be . . . (drumroll) . . . 4% as normal, LMAO!

I am sorry the TV isn't satisfying you tonite. Have you tried a fantasy shopping trip on the internet? Ya know, web-shop (like window shopping) for all of the things you CAN'T afford but want?! I command you to go on a search for: an expensive purse, a dream vacation, a killer cocktail dress, and the most expensive and deluxe house in your region!

Eh, outta waste, what 20 minutes of your time?! ;o)

the Babychaser: said...

Ms. J, I have to confess, the kitchen was the selling point for the whole house. It's wide open to the dining area, so even when I'm cooking for guests they can hang out with me. Two walls are the funky green you see, and the others are a sunny yellow. Painted them myself. :-)

Best room in the house, and I absolutely adore it.

Io said...

Oh, but you are my *favorite* crazy lady. Hmm, as long as we are sharing sperm stories: Before Al went for his first SA, he insisted on waiting four months, because he wanted to have quite smoking, eat better, etc. He did all that and then of course had no sperm at all...
I'm guessing your hormones are all screwy right now. If you were nearby I would kindly offer up my dirty kitchen so you could feel better. But sadly (for me mostly), you are not. So all I can do is offer you some bloggy internet love.

K77 said...

I think your DH definitely needs to take responsibility for his side of things.

Love your kitchen.

Jen said...

From one micromanager to another: I feel your pain.

Let's hope the progesterone crazies ease up for you (I also feel your pain there). To answer your question, the PIO doesn't hurt when I'm getting the shot. It does, however, hurt about 15 minutes later - my ass is constantly throbbing and sore.

On the upside, your kitchen is looking fabulous.

peesticksandstones said...

Ha! I spent a nice chunk of yesterday cleaning the goo behind the coffee maker as well. Often when I'm in 'crazy lady' mode, that's the only sorta thing I CAN do.

My husband, meanwhile, can play video games until the world ends. Wish I could lose myself in 'fun' stuff like that, too.

Hope this week brings more good embryo news!

annacyclopedia said...

Your kitchen is beautiful! Mine has great space but is otherwise quite hideous.

I totally hear you on the hubby's responsibility for the sperm stuff. It was an issue for us, too - getting the surgery scheduled, getting SAs done after the reversal - I had to really hound him sometimes. It's so frustrating!

Ally said...

I am so sorry you're feeling crazy and weepy and mad and icky. I am in the same spot, for different reasons, and my heart goes out to you.

I wish I had a magic wand to wave that would make all of this better for you, but all I can do is offer my friendship-you have a crazy friend in this corner of the universe!

Now, I will admit something horrible. I wish my craziness made my kitchen look as spic-and-span as yours. Instead I get all mopey and sit around feeling sorry for myself. You are my crazy lady heroine!

Katie said...

That's great embie news!

I hear you on the sperm issue. DH's started at 0% in the morph department and worked its way up to 4%, which our RE thinks is fabulous. That almost seemed to make matters worse.

You do have a very nice kitchen!

Malloryn said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling crappy. I hope that you continue to get great news from the RE.

Your kitchen is awesome. :)

I totally hear you when it comes to the sperm thing. I've been trying to do everything I can to take care of my end of the bargain. I wish DH would take things into his own hands (so to speak :P) and get more detailed testing done at a urologist, just to see if there's anything else we can do. I guess we'll see how this latest IUI cycle goes!

shinejil said...

Oh, B-chaser! I can't tell you how often I've felt like I'm doing everything, giving up everything, while my guy just has to come. The resentment led to him making more doc office calls, also foregoing booze, etc. But it's still there, the feeling that I have to do all the heavy IF lifting. I mean, why do we women end up IF managers?

I also think progesterone is so insanely crazy making. Especially the kind you inject or ingest. Just the thought of it makes me want to fly into an irrational rage.

Your kitchen looks great!

Working Girl said...

Sorry, I am coming in late on this post. Tell J going "outside" is for suckers!!! I always find good old fashioned housework a great cure for the crazys. Nice job on the kitchen BTW!!! I know how you feel about IF being so onesided. I do all the work in my cycles and it does get frustrating. I do know that even if my husband helped out more I would still be frustrated. It's the control freak in me. I have just come to accept my roll as the manager. I also get that you want something different this cycle. I already know that my RE doesn't have another protocol for me if this fails. Hopefully, it won't but, we know the stats! Good luck with your transfer!

La La said...

I'm sorry sweetie, I know how hard it is to stay sane during IVF. The only advice I have to offer (the only thing that worked for me) was to try and stay distracted as much as possible. Go to the movies, go get a pedicure, etc. ((hugs))