Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

I really enjoyed reading this new novel by Anthony Marra.

I can identify well with the PTSD that the character Natasha suffers from.  My PTSD is from being raped, abused and of late I'll add in infertility.

Just like Natasha, I'm good with needles.  Oh I did relate to her well.  I was doing drugs but not the kind that made you hallucinate.  No the drugs I was self injecting made my head spin, want to puke, cry, and rage.

Family is everything.  Without family you have nothing.  But what happens when it is your family or the creating of your family that causes you to have PTSD?

My infertility is scarring me more than my rape and abuse.  I recently underwent another round of treatments to start a family.  This time I decided to ditch my own DNA in favor of doing donor eggs.

Every day I would take the birth control as instructed during that portion of the long cycle.  Next came adding in a daily injection of Lupron, using a insulin needle, with the birth control pills as a chaser the final week of birth control.

Soon I was instructed to stop the birth control and start adding in estrogen patches.  I would at one point be applying up to four estrogen patches every other day to my pelvic region.  Mind you each patch is 2 by 3 inches in size.

As the time came near for the first ultrasound I got anxious.  What if this didn't work.  What if my ovaries refused to be suppressed?

The first ultrasound was a fail.  I would have to stay on the Lupron for a few more days and the higher number of estrogen patches until the next ultrasound.  Thankfully the second ultrasound went well.  My ovaries were suppressed.  While many of you might not think about any of that when trying to start a family I have to.  While on the birth control my body decided to ovulate.  Oh and not just with one egg.  I'm far from normal.  I ovulated six.  No other drug but birth control was in my body at that time.

By the time I had completed the birth control section of my long protocol I had in storage two beautiful 4AA blastocysts.  They don't get any better.  They would be my husband's genetic children.  I had a chance at motherhood.  My happiness was soaring, I could finally achieve this long awaited goal.

Third ultrasound while still on the estrogen patches and Lupron and my uterine lining was ready.  Ovaries were nice and quite too.  In just a few days I would be able to do a frozen embryo transfer.  The following day would be my last shot of Lupron.  Two days after the third ultrasound I would begin giving myself the progesterone in oil injections.

I'm really good at sticking a 22 gauge 1.5 inch needle into my butt muscle.  Progesterone in oil, also called PIO injections, have to have a large gauge needle in order to get the oil out of the bottle and into the muscle.  I start with an 18 gauge 1.5 inch needle to draw up the PIO but luckily I get to use the 22 gauge to inject myself.

I'm in what is now called the TWW, or two week wait.  Unfortunately I have had a lot of pelvic pain and have had to go to the ER.  They did a beta, or as some call it a blood HCG (human chorionic gonatrophin) test to see if I might be pregnant.  Anything over a value of five is good.  Mine was less than one.  Not good.

I have to stay on the estrogen patches and PIO shots until the tenth week of pregnancy or a negative beta.
I have another beta scheduled for Monday.  My hopes are dashed as far as I'm concerned.  I doubt I'm still pregnant.  I don't want to even think about the money my husband and I have paid out for two IVF (invitrofertilizations) and now a donor egg cycle only to have them fail.  I can only sit here and hope that come Monday morning one embryo is still in me holding on for dear life as I pray fervently to God that it is still there.

Let there be some light in my life.  Let my womb bear life.  My mind switches gears from anger to tears to wanting to blame anyone for how unfair my life has been.  I'm trying to rationalize that sometimes, just like Natasha's life, bad things happen to good people.

This post was inspired by the novel A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. In a war torn Chechnya, a young fatherless girl, a family friend, and a hardened doctor struggle with love and loss. Join From Left to Write on May 20 as we discuss Anthony Marra's debut novel. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. Hoping for the best for Monday. (Hugs)

  2. I understand the rollar coaster ride you are going on all too well. I'm saying prayers that Monday brings you good news.

  3. You are in my prayers Rebecca. Hoping everything else is going well for you.

  4. I'm so sorry for your struggle. Your post pulled at my heartstrings for sure. I will keep you in my prayers, Rebecca.

  5. I'm so sorry for your difficult path Rebecca :( I hope that your prayers get answered "yes" very soon <3


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