Magic 8 Ball Predictions

The first draft of this post was actually quite upbeat and positive … how despite where I wanted to be in life by now, Mother Nature obviously decided to take a different path. And I was going to be okay with it. But then I had my follow-up appointment with my GYN today and well …

When I was little, I used to ask my mom for a sister. I desperately wanted to have someone to share a room with, not to mention sharing secrets and clothes and shoes (must have been all those after-school reruns of the Brady Bunch). What I knew little of back then was that my mom wasn’t able to have any more children after I was born. In fact, she was supposedly very lucky to even have any children at all, let alone my brother and me. She had such severe endometriosis that, back in the day, they didn’t think she would have much success with getting pregnant. Shortly after I was born, she had her hysterectomy to stop her endometriosis from getting any worse.

I was told the whole story when I was in high school, after having gone through yet another painful period. My mom asked me back then whether or not my cramps were bad enough that I’d want to go on birth control. Which, when I think of it now, was pretty progressive of her to do that … especially given the fact that we were Filipino (remember previous posts about how “private” we are?) and my mom was (and still is) deeply rooted in Catholicism (ahem … remember natural family planning?). Even back then, I had no inclination to be on the pill.

So my senior year in high school, a bunch of us were coming up with predictions for ourselves; kind of a “Magic 8 Ball” prediction in where we saw ourselves in ten years. Would we be successful in our careers? Would we be happily married? Would we have lots of kids? Some had said they’d be happily married with the 2.5 kids and the dog. Others said that they’d have a wildly successful career, yet single or divorced.

As for me … I can clearly remember saying that I would be happily married (“It is certain”) with a relatively successful job, but not one that I was completely passionate about (“Signs point to Yes”). And … having problems getting pregnant (“Outlook not so good”).

I’m sure it’s probably because by then I knew about my mom’s past medical history. But the other part of my prediction was that I would have at least one of my children before I was thirty. Thirty was the magic year because my mom and I were just about that many years apart and I absolutely HATED that there was not only the generational gap between us, but a cultural gap as well. I didn’t want to be so out of touch with my own children and therefore thought that by having them before thirty, I would be closer to their generation.

Well here I am, about to turn thirty-six this year and STILL childless.

And to top it off, I just had my follow-up appointment with my GYN today. The one to go over the results of my latest US, et al in regards to the increase in pain and bloating with each cycle. And well … as suspected, without doing any “looky-see” surgery, it appears that my endometriosis is back. So now it’s time to go back on Lupron. Back to being void from any emotion, except for the extreme highs or lows. Back to having no chance AT ALL at being pregnant. Basically, no ability to have any glimmer of hope. At least for the next three months. And then maybe another three months after that.

On an upswing … at least I won’t have any “oh geez … can you just kill me now because this must be what hell in a uterus feels like” pain for now.

Chances in H-E-double-hockey-sticks

Today I am feeling … sad.

I shouldn’t be. It’s my day off from work and I’ve only got two more days until another weekend. It’s my Mom’s birthday, and although she & Dad are in Aruba for a week of fun, I’m wishing that she’s having a wonderful sand n’ sun kinda day. And it’s bright as bright can be here in Suburban Detroit.

But it’s cold … really cold right now. And maybe that’s what I’m missing today. Is warmth. I want to be back in bed in my cozy pajamas snuggling with both my cats on either side of me. I want a steaming hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows to sip on. I want to flip randomly through the television and finally settle on turning it off and reading a good happy book.

Instead I’m sitting here at a local cafe, which normally I like to do, and freezing my tush off. And contemplating my life.

I just got back from my OB/Gyn office and I guess I’m feeling a little oversensitive. The reason I went today was to have an ultrasound. I had made an appointment to see my doc last week, in the midst of yet another painful period, which have been increasing in intensity over the past year. The ultrasound scheduled today was to see whether or not my endometriosis was back. And truthfully, even without having my doc review the images, I pretty much know that it is.

I know I haven’t gone into detail about my infertility past. I do that purposefully, because quite frankly I hate reliving that point of my life. But the basic jist is that I’ve had multiple scopes and even a laparotomy to clear out some pretty bad endo … only to find out that in the midst of my IVF work-up that I also had PCOS. So not only am I in pain pretty much with every cycle, but my hormones are seriously whacked-up. (Why do I have the urge to cross my arms like Rev. Run from Run DMC and say “Word!”?) And after the failed IVF and subsequent decision NOT to go through a frozen cycle with only one embie, I just drifted into a haze until that fateful day in November of 2006.

I know I’m a much better person emotionally now, especially since starting to blog about these issues. And I know that I’ve taken that small baby step forward towards the adoption front.

But yet …

Is it normal to still feel like a failure? That after ten years my body is still refusing to do what it’s told? I cycle every month now … every 27 days like clockwork. And every month it’s a constant reminder that this body refuses to become pregnant. And to top it off, it’s not just a physical reminder … it’s very much a painful “Geez, I can’t even think straight, let alone stand up straight or lie down without feeling the cramps”- kinda reminder.

I find out the actual results two weeks from now. And from there, it’s a decision of whether or not I’ll be treated medically or surgically. My doc does not want to start out surgically to clear out the endo, as there is always the risk of creating adhesions (or scarring).

What he would like to do is either put me on Lupron for a period of time, or place me on birth control pills. And I’m hesitant to do either. If you can believe this, during my whole “reproductive life,” I have never been on the pill. And quite honestly, I don’t feel like starting on it now … some 25 years after having my first period. As for Lupron, I hate what it did to me the first time around. While I don’t think I was a raving lunatic during those six months, I do think I was emotionally detached from everything and everyone (including Hubby) around me.

There’s a part of me that thinks, “Just take the damn things out already!” I mean, they’re not doing the job they’re supposed to be doing anyway. I’m just about at the point where I don’t want to have to deal with the pain anymore, both physically and emotionally. I don’t want to have to be reminded every month that I can’t get pregnant. I want to say that I’ve been able to close that chapter in my life – and by having my reproductive organs removed, it would certainly make that final. I would never be able to get pregnant and I would never have to think “what if …”

But then …

I guess it boils down to the fact that I know I probably don’t have a chance in H-E-double-hockey-sticks, but I still want to know I have the option to become pregnant. After all, my Aunt who tried for many years to get pregnant finally had her dream come true naturally some 20 years after getting married. And by that timeline, I’m more than half-way there.