Thursday, August 9, 2007

Tunnel Vision

Definition: In medical terms, tunnel vision is the loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision, resulting in a constricted circular tunnel-like filed of vision.

(long post ahead...walk with me through the tunnel)

Wow. You all are amazing...I have been away from blogs/emails for a few days, and to come back to see 100 comments simply brought tears to my eyes. Thank you from the bottom of both our hearts. The virtual hugs and support we have felt from all of you have been a big part of our beginning to heal-seriously. So thank you many times over...

Where to begin....I guess beginning at the end is appropriate. I'll never forget that moment-all the imagining and hoping becomes so final when that call comes in. I didn't cry on the phone, since in a way I could tell the moment she said my name...and I felt my heart break into a million pieces--that was literally what I saw as I closed my eyes to listen to the rest of the conversation. "We just are at a loss....everything went so very well with your cycle." Everything but the end result. I went ahead and asked for a follow up, since I'm a person who needs closure. It happened last Wednesday...and I'll get to that.

A few co-workers knew that I had to go for "follow up blood work" so I was prepared to leave whether good or bad...I packed up my desk as quickly as possible, and as soon as my car door shut with me inside, I cried like I never have before. To feel a new emotion like that for the first time is scary and uncharted--I have been extremely lucky that I have not lost someone close to me, but honestly I know what that must feel like. It definitely is a mourning process. Then making the call to Mook.......just so hard. Then I called my mom and we cried together...then I just went home and sat. Posted for you all to know what was going on...and then I just let it sink in. I needed to deal with it--so I packed up all the meds, the needles, the picture of Pearl and Jam and took it into our hopeful-nursery. I just laid on the couch and sobbed again...it was like detox. Just letting it all go...

Mook came home from work...and we just sat, talked, I cried some more, and another new emotion happened. A positive one--a new bond in our relationship. I don't think we have ever felt so close--even on our wedding day. I hate that we had to experience a sadness like that, but I had never felt so close to him.

And of course I mentioned that our pet fish died...we bought that fish the night we got engaged. It sounds so silly...but that was just something that pushed me over the edge. The rest of the week didn't get much better...

I didn't take any more time off work...I know for me, I just need to get back into a routine. Not that it makes it any easier, but it got my mind back on track. One of the hardest things has been dealing with the feeling of not having a purpose or a goal-ART procedures in general get you so wrapped up in schedules and timing, and then all of sudden I wasn't taking shots or popping pills, and it became eerily still at our house. I don't deal well with still. I knew that it might not work. I knew that I might not have a baby in April of 2008. But I still wanted to look at the next 9 months with purpose...and then the feeling of "now what" dug in deeper and deeper.

I immediately wanted to know WHY WHY WHY WHY it didnt work. I started emailing a few of you about PG.D and FE.T's and wanted to soak up as much information to go forward. Especially since we were so "text book" this past time--that obviously meant squat: I no longer believe in "text-book." I got a card from Leah yesterday (thank you!) and she summed it up--all you can do is say "SHIT!!!!!" I wanted to spat that out at our RE, but as soon as I walked in the door, I was back to having a purpose: why didn't it work, and what is our next step. Of course they can't give you an answer, as all of you who have been through this, know. He said he was so pleased with all my levels, the follicles, the retrieval, the transfer...blah blah blah.

So some of the possible answers: the 2 they transferred ended up being in the "slower progressing" category and possibly not strong like the 7 that didnt make it to freeze. It's possible we need to look into PGD--Mook's numbers did not increase (I ended up calling to get the wash numbers) and the lower the count, the higher possibility he has for abnormalities-chromosomes, etc. Then there is just plain old mother nature--not meant to be, or other "unknowns"--and that is the hardest answer of them all.

And of course we have our 3 frozen blasts....could they be "the" ones? Our embryologist and RE suggest going forward with the FET before doing another fresh cycle (which I'll get to in a minute). One-it may get us to our goal. Two-it may answer if we really should try PGD.

Mook and I decided after the LONG week that we would go to our safe-haven: the beach. It was there that we talked about our next steps--we ranked them in level of interest. And we are spot on with all our choices. As we discussed these choices, a very cute couple walked in to where we were having breakfast, and the girl was very close to my age, and very pregnant. I heard the waitress gushing over her and asked when she was due: "October--and we can't wait" I. lost. my. shit. I had to basically RUN out the door....and I am usually "ok" with pregnant women around--or even little kids. I mean it's hard, but I have usually been able to smile and walk on--but oh my goodness, I will never forget her. She was who I wanted to be. Mook just held me, and we walked back to the beach house...I haven't seen Mook cry about this yet, but I know he was close at that moment. I told him as long as he held onto me in these tough moments, that I would cry for the both of us.........

Are we ok? Yes. Are we sad? Yes. Are we scared? Yes.Are we down for the count. No.

I want to catch up with all of you--I know there continue to be a lot of BFP's out there. I know I'm not the first, and won't be the last to say that I am happy for all of you--but please know it's hard for me to read and comment right now. I want to be you. And I want and need that jealousy to subside--but please know that I wish nothing but the best for you.

To all my ladies waiting with me-you are not alone. We will continue to hold on tight to each other and provide support and get everyone to that "other side of IF"!

I feel like I have more to say...but I'll save it for another day. I just can't thank you all enough for the love and support--and I hope that I can offer the same to you. Just know that I am here...healing, and couldn't make it through the tunnel without you.


I'm on my way through the tunnel...I see the light.
Now I just have to keep on walking...will you walk with me?

58 comments:

  1. Absolutely I will walk with you! You most definately are not alone!

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  2. It doesn't get easier but it does get better. Sometimes we all need to take breaks. I know that after my failed IVF and FET I couldn't ready any blogs without feeling a tidal wave of grief and longing knocking me over. It was so hard. It still is. One day we'll be on the other side of this tunnel and see more clearly all that we missed. You're in my thoughts.

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  3. glad you're back....i was getting worried.
    while the BFn after all the shots and $$ and emotional rollercoasters SUCKS...it seems like you are ever the champ picking yourself up and dusting yourself off and going forward.
    With the obvious exception of a BFP, that's the best outcome.

    Thank goodness you have FETs.

    I too notice a new closeness with my DH. That's the one thing I feel we have that fertiles don't. Even though we've been together for 10 years, we've neevr known closeness like we have for the past two.

    You two are going to make great parents.

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  4. I am so glad to have you back, You have been on my thoughts constantly. I hope that got my card! Your post brought tears to my eyes but I am happy to see you still standing tall. You are an amazing woman my friend and I honored to walk this journey with you. I hope we can get “there” together!!
    HUGS

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  5. I am right there along side you. We will get there.

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  6. JJ, its so good to read your words. Your outcome left me so shook up and I felt terrible for you :( It just wasn't supposed to happen that way. I just wanted to tell you that I'm totally rooting for you- you will get that BFP.

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  7. Welcome back. I am so glad that you are ok and I will be thinking about you and hoping for you. :)

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  8. I'll keep walking through the tunnel with you.

    "Are we ok? Yes. Are we sad? Yes. Are we scared? Yes. Are we down for the count. No."

    That's exactly how I feel right now, too. And I hear you on that drifting feeling when you go from having some purposeful thing to do every day to suddenly having no meds to take and no immediate next steps.

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  9. I'm with you until you're out in the open air, bathed in golden sunlight.

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  10. Hey JJ... Gosh, I so totally relate to this post. It even brought back some tears that I thought I had long since stifled away.

    I'm walking with you.

    Again, feel free to contact me anytime for ANYTHING.

    ((hugs))

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  11. I am there JJ, right by your side, lets walk through the tunnel even though we don't know how ling the tunnel is but we can all do it together till we reach the other side.

    Thinking of you.

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  12. JJ,

    I have been checking your blog, hoping to hear from you soon. Hoping that you were doing ok.

    I HATE infertility. I hate how it brings sadness and despair. It takes everything inside you to keep it from taking your hope. And some days I remember telling myself that I refuse to let this BS take my hope away.

    While I was cycling, my mantra was "NEW CYCLE = NEW HOPE"

    Every time I fell down, there is nothing that made me feel better then to be starting my plan to move forward. Nothing made me heal like the start of a new cycle.

    Even after Ava died, I didn't really feel better until we began the process of adoption.

    Even now, with pregnancy behind me and babies on the way, I still sometimes get a sting from the lady walking by with a big pregnant belly.

    Protect the hope you have in your heart. It will get you through.

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  13. Awww, I'm glad you're back and doing better, and that Mook's so good to you.

    PS. You really summed up how I was feeling re the BFP's - happy for them, but it's hard, cuz it ain't us, again. Somehow this will get better and end right?

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  14. You've made the hairs on the back of my neck prickle.

    What a wonderful and honest post. You've said how I feel.

    You're going to get there sweetie, I just know it and you'll be on "the other side" before you know it. Until then i'm right here with you xx

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  15. Good to hear you and Mook are handling this the best you can. I remember at our consult after the first failed IVF, our doctor was "You guys SHOULD be pregnant." and it was so hard to understand that you can do EVERYTHING right and it can still turn out to be a BFN. It is so disheartening. But, as Sunny Jenny said, it doesn't get easier, but it does get better. Keep healing. You are definately not alone, and there is definately hope!

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  16. I was beginning to worry about you. I am glad you are healing and not just in the stagnant place. Hang in there and know you are not alone.

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  17. I'll walk with you. I will email you back tonight. Promise. Hugs.

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  18. YAH, It's great to see your words!! Walking with you! Absolutely! Thinking of you

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  19. I will walk with you. Your thoughts are so utterly true, they are piercing.

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  20. So glad to see you back:). I am glad to read that you and Mook are taking some time for the two of you. I have also found that our infertility struggle has brought me and Mr. Sassy closer. I see it as a silver lining.

    Walking with you...

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  21. JJ, I was just thinking of you today! I am so glad to see a posting. I was in tears by the time I made it to the end... First of all, as for your fish, that is not stupid! That is part of your memories of you and mook. It is a special symbol of your love. It may have been a fish, but it was part of your everyday routine. As for not taking time off, I compeltely understand that. I need to stay in my routine to stay sane. I am so glad you and Mook have discussed the next cycle and have a plan. I do hope one of the frozen embryos is the "one"...or maybe "two". :] As for the lady at b-fast, been there, done that! You have every right to feel the way you do. It is part of the process... As for walking with you? Of course I will...every step of the way! *hugs*

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  22. Glad to see you back. I'm waiting at the tunnel, ready to hold your hand the whole way. Together we will all reach the other side.

    I think most good marriages are made closer by this experience. There are moments that make it harder, but in the end we are stronger. I'm happy you have a wonderful partner with whom to make this journey.

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  23. This was an incredibly sweet and moving post. I'm sorry you guys had to go through this, but I'm so pleased that you're working together to get to "the other side". Best of luck, and I'll be rooting you on.

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  24. I will walk with you JJ - you are not alone on this journey. I am there with you until we make it out the other side.

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  25. I am walking with you - the light will get closer. And we will make it out of the tunnel.

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  26. I'm glad you found the beach restorative, although I know it was tough to run into that pregnant lady. There is such a loss when IVF fails. It does take a long time to process through it and be able to move forward. It's good to give yourself the time you need and space you need to go through this process. It sounds like you and Mook are giving each other great support.

    It's easy too to get hung up on the whys. You may have had everything going for you, but there's still a lot of cases where IVF just doesn't work, and no one knows why. It's a frustrating place to be, but just part of the gamble of the process.

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  27. Tears for you, that's what I've got right now... I wish that the few I spill for you could lighten your load...

    Right now we all understand that you need to focus on the light. There is no reason to feel sorry for not reading blogs that make you sad. Really.

    We have all been supported by you so much. I can't count the number of times I have been awed at "just the right thing" you have said when someone was hurting.

    I wish I could return the favor... I'm affraid I'm just not as eloquent, so this post will have to suffice.

    ((big heartfelt hug))

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  28. Girlfriend! I have SO been where you are and it IS hard! I went through ELEVEN cycles before it finally worked - ELEVEN!! Also, note of interest, it was the FET that worked, our first, all the others were fresh or IUI cycles! So I'm glad to hear you're getting back up on that horsey! Let me know if there's any questions about FETs you want to know! I'm here for you girlfriend!

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  29. I'm walking here right beside you sweetie, in it for the long haul and will be here no matter what. I am thinking of you and praying for strength for you to get through this, I don't think we ever forget this but the pain will get less as you go along, all you need right now is time and your loving hubby.

    Loads of hugs xxx

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  30. Just popped over to say thank you for your kind comment on my Blog, even more so now I see how hard a time you are having too.

    It is one thing to know you WILL be ok and another to work through to the point where you are. I am sorry you are going through this and I truly hope the tunnel won't be too long or too dark x

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  31. Wow, I could not imagine the grieving process you are going through. It enlightens me and makes me feel like even though everything can be perfect and "textbook", it may not still not work out. You have immense strength and courage for you and Mook to go through this. You are in my prayers and I will walk with you through this process. You have my support!

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  32. Good to hear from you. I too was beginning to worry. Would be an honour to walk with you.

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  33. IF can make a good marriage or relationship stronger, in a sad way. We aired things that I had always worried about, and he was always so reassuring.
    I'm glad you made some decisions you're happy about. We had to take a 8 month break between one failed attempt, we just couldn't handle the disappointment again and I wanted to give my body a break. But as expected, we dusted ourselves off, and tried it again and it was so worth it. Hugs to you and good luck.

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  34. I am so glad that you and Mook are really hand in hand through this. It makes all the difference in the world not to isolate yourself when you suffer such tragic disappointment.

    I can't wait to meet you in September, so go pick a date!!!

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  35. Your post is full of so many powerful emotions. I remember entering a restaurant right after my BFN and walking in on the biggest, noisiest, in-your-face baby shower you could ever imagine. I did the same thing -- ran out the door as fast as I could. I cursed the universe for being so cruel. Sigh. Glad you're getting solid support. Count me among them my friend.

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  36. I'm walking with yuo, I'll even hold your hand.

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  37. JJ, I'm so glad to hear that you and Mook have been taking some time to be with one another and to make some decisions about how to move forward. ANd, I know what you mean about getting closer. For better or for worse, going through what you are going through brings you together in ways you never would have anticipated.

    My heart is still breaking for you, and I'm thinking of you everyday. I desperately want to send the angel wings back to watch over you right now, if only for a little while to help you through this time. But in spirit, I know they already are.

    thinking of you...

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  38. I would love to walk beside you, JJ. You are definitely not alone.

    I am so sorry that things have to be so hard and unexplained to boot. I wish I had a band aid to fix everything but since I don't, all I can say is I'm here and I understand.

    XOXO

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  39. Shit. You made me cry.
    I know exactly how you feel.

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  40. ugh, that last little bit with the tunnel picture and quote underneath......son of a....tears!!!

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  41. I'm walkin with you! I've just added you to my frequently read blog list and off we go! I know that all this sucks. The upside, though, is that you have some awesome frozen embies that will be ready for you whenver you're ready for them!
    Thinkin about you and prayin that very soon your luck will change.

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  42. Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and so sorry for what you've just had to go through. It just truly sucks sometimes and there's no way to sugar-coat it. But, even though I only know you through your words, I can tell you are someone who will pick herself up, dust herself off and keep on keepin' on.
    Hope you are doing okay...sending hugs and prayers your way.

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  43. WOW! This post made me cry...cry hard! Cry tears I didnt know were even there! Especially about the closeness with your husband. No one knows what you mean until you have gone thru IF together. You are not alone! Thank you for being so expressive and open! Your post touched my heart!!

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  44. Matthew M. F. Miller says: Welcome back, and I hope you get all of the emotional support you need and deserve. You are wonderful, and I'm so sorry times are so tough for you.

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  45. I'm so sorry you got this news...

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  46. I'm with you hun....hand in hand we can get through this. I am so glad Mook is so supportive...my hubby is too...I can't imagine this journey without him.

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  47. What a wonderful thought to keep us going through this difficult life experience. I admire your resolve and beautiful thoughts.

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  48. A gorgeous post. I'm so sorry, sweetie, it is really really really sad. Give yourself a lot of space to cry.

    My safe place is the beach as well.

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  49. you've said it all so well. like someone else said, you brought out tears in me i thought had been burried for years. i'm just so sorry you're going through this. not to be all pollyanna in the face of this, but i am so happy for you that you have mook, it sounds like he's an amazing partner in this. i am wishing loads of peace to you both for moving on from this cycle, strength for getting back to cycling again, and of course much luck for success SOON.

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  50. I know what you mean about the "sad bond." We have felt that too in our marriage. I am hoping so much that you get to have a happier bond soon!
    THIS SUCKS. And I'm here in the tunnel with you.

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  51. Ugh. Pregnant people at your "spot"? We are so sorry. Hang in there!

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  52. take all the time you need...
    that tunnel is as long or as short as you want it to be.
    and you are not alone...!

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  53. Just wanted to say, "hey." Thinking about you, and hope you're hanging in there, JJ.

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  54. thank you for sharing the experience.

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  55. I can't tell you how much I admire your strength. This road is not for the faint of heart. I hope and pray that your next cycle ends with a joyous BFP!!! So glad you and and Mook got to spend some time at the beach to talk things through. He sounds like a wonderful man! You are blessed!!!

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  56. I really admire how you are handling this all with such grace. I'm glad you aren't down for the count and that you have the courage to continue, with whatever that might be.

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