Confessions of a CD 26 Monster

I’m just not in a very good mood.

It’s not that I’m walking around in a terrible mood; it’s just that topics that emotionally affect me are affecting me a lot more this week.

It’s probably because my period is starting soon. Though I’m not really sure what happens—or doesn’t happen—during my cycle, I do know that I turn into a bitch about a week before CD 1.

Would you like to know the latest? Haha.

Lately (really within the last 16 hours or so), something has been bothering me.

“It’s not over.”

“This will work out for you.”

“You’ll be pregnant soon; don’t give up.”

Well, guess what? It is over. It didn’t work out for me. I didn’t give up until there was literally nothing else to give, and … here we are.

Just because I’m using donor eggs doesn’t mean we can pretend it’s not over.

My children will not be MINE in the same way many children are their parents’. That part is over. It didn’t work out for us.

I know my journey toward building a family isn’t over. I strongly believe donor eggs will bring us pregnancy and our baby/ies. Lord knows I hope to be pregnant soon and have signed up for six donor egg cycles, so I don’t plan on giving up anytime soon.

But, stop. There is a huge part of this journey that has come to an end—forever.

We failed. I’m not ashamed of it, but it’s the truth.

Donor egg ladies, am I making any sense? Do you know what I mean? It’s okay if I’m just being CD 26-ish and need to take these words of encouragement more graciously. But, I don’t know, let’s not sugar coat it.

I’ve become used to the fact that my baby/ies will be built from Mary’s eggs. It’s my reality. I’m happy about that; relieved.

But I have approached closure regarding a pretty big issue—an issue some women spend a lot more money and time trying to be on the “good” side of.

If the world has to include a certain number of mothers who require donor eggs in order to keep spinning, I’m glad God chose me. I don’t know why, but when I really asked myself—back in June—what was most important to me, it was pregnancy; not a genetic connection.

But I’ve reached a devastating end to this road of IVF with my eggs.

So, it didn’t work; we failed; it is over.

But I will still get to be pregnant, and I will still get to be a mother.

Included in my repertoire of health conditions, I suffer from dysphagia. It’s lovely.

When I was 19 years old, I kind of realized that, “No? Food doesn’t get stick in your throat all the time too?”

It could take up to an hour for me to eat a Chipotle burrito. Meat, pastas, chips, just a certain texture of food would get lodged in my esophagus. Drinking water didn’t help because the food was going to “go down” on its own time.

Anyway, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with gastro esophageal reflux disorder. He instructed me to chug this highly carbonated liquid then flipped me upside down; my esophagus clearly displayed an acid reflux condition on the x-ray machine. He prescribed Prilosec, and I’ve taken it every day since.

I still struggle with dysphagia. Sure, I struggle with acid reflux a bit, but not really. I’m not sure the Prilosec addresses the food-stuck-in-my-throat situation. Of course, my diet plays a big role into how easy (or difficult) it can be to swallow food.

So, let me explain: Sometimes I swallow food, and it remains stuck at the very top of my esophagus. It hurts, but it’s mostly claustrophobic. People suggest I take a sip of water. The sensation I feel tells me that drinking anything to “wash it down” won’t help—rather it will hurt the situation. Three months ago I was snacking on nachos with my parents and husband at a restaurant. I wasn’t paying as close attention to my dysphagia as I should have been (I’m the slowest eater of all time). I was talking and eating too quickly. I took a sip of beer; when I swallowed, the liquid just fizzled on top of the food in my esophagus. I wasn’t exactly choking, but it was urgent. It scared the hell out of my parents and husband. See, I usually don’t wash food down once I feel the “stuck” sensation. I get anxious and try to let it go down on its own. BUT THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT. Sometimes it takes seconds, a few minutes; sometimes it takes 20 minutes—literally. It really sucks. This happens AT LEAST once a week.

I have to eat very slowly, and I have to sit in a particular way so my throat is as straight and upright as possible. Often times there’s nothing I can do about it.

I’m one of those women who claims she can’t swallow pills. Family and friends used to constantly tell me it was just in my head. But I seriously CANNOT swallow pills. A few of them have witnessed some of my episodes and now understand—SHE CAN’T SWALLOW PILLS.

My father suffers from this weird condition as well. I get anxious whenever we eat together. I act like his mother and tell him to eat carefully. It’s scary when it happens to him because I know what he’s going through. I hate it.

Last week I was eating dinner at home alone. My husband was out running. It happened , and it was a “bad one.” I actually put my shoes on and prepared to go outside in case I needed to find a stranger to offer moral support or the Heimlich. Again—it’s not like I’m actually choking, but when the food won’t go down, where the hell else is it supposed to go? Thankfully, it went down.

I texted my dad and asked him about this esophageal dilation procedure he had done after experiencing a REALLY bad episode of food-stuck-in-throat. I’d begged him to go to the doctor because this particular episode scared the absolute fuck out of me.

He told me he couldn’t really feel a difference after the procedure.

I made an appointment with the doctor and mentioned my wish to have this procedure done. I don’t know what advice the doctor will offer. I guess it would be nice for him to “take a look” at everything anyway.

It’s probably scar tissue because I swallowed a dime when I was five years old and had to have surgery to get it removed. It’s also probably hereditary. I don’t know.

I always worry these things are you-know-what or will lead to you-know-what. It causes me great anxiety. My husband reminds me that I would have been dead by now if it were.

Wish me luck.

Happy chewing.

13 thoughts on “Confessions of a CD 26 Monster

  1. Oh my! That food stuck in the throat stuff sounds horrible. That would give me anxiety, too! I hope the doctor you will see might have a solution for you. I don’t know how I would feel about donor eggs…for hubby and me it was always clear that if we couldn’t conceive with our own eggs/sperms we just wouldn’t have kids and to that conclusion we didn’t come easily. I think you are very courageous. But you know what…at the end of the day it’s all just cells and he or she will still come out of you! It’s not an easy thing to deal with but I truly hope that you will get your baby this year or at least become pregnant!

  2. I think that although you feel you have closure on the issue, it is entirely normal to have relapses in your grief. Like the passing of any dream, one day you’re fine with it, the next day you are not. It’s okay, it doesn’t mean you’re not ready to move forward, it means you’re human.

    Why is this the first time I’m hearing about your dysphasia? That’s some serious stuff there! So am I reading the subtext correctly that you’re relieved that your children will not inherit this disorder?

  3. That sounds so scary! I am sorry you also have to deal with that and hope the doctor may be able to help improve this.
    I know the failure feeling too… I hope you getting pregnant (soon) and having your baby heals your heart.

    • I meant to add that your condition sounds terrifying! My husband has TMJ and his jaws dislocates at least once a week but goes right back in. Twice in his life it’s popped out and a doctor had to reset it. I’m always terrified it will happen when I’m there. I may pass out. Ha! Not very supportive of me, I know. It just scares me and it’s not even happening to me.

  4. The disphasia sounds atrocious. I’m sorry to read it has been such a struggle and that it scares you. I hope that the procedure can be helpful.

    And in terms of the ‘it’s over’ part. Yes. It is over. As far as you know. And I don’t think it’s being CD26 ish. What you are going through makes a great deal of sense to me. You may have made the decision and taken all the necessary steps to go through a DE IVF cycle, but the emotional part of not being able to have children genetically related to you happens on a different time line. This is called grieving, I believe. And it’s hard and it’s necessary. It doesn’t mean you won’t adore and be entirely committed to your children when they arrive. But right now, it’s important to grieve your loss, because it’s an enormous loss.

    My thoughts are with you, as you make your way through this difficult, and hopeful process.

  5. Re: Donor eggs

    I think what you are saying is a real and very honest part of donor eggs and the grieving process. I think you are very brave for admitting those feelings.

    As a donor egg recipient, and a previous donor embryo recipient I’ve had similar feelings too.

    I mourn for things to be simpler, and to not know this agony. I mourn for the days that I have to explain this all to my kid(s), and wonder if they’ll feel sad because of it. I am scared that when they are in their teenage craziness phase that they’ll have one extra reason to hate me as their parent.

    I’m even more scared that this won’t work. That my “all in” isn’t going to be good enough. That my body is going to reject the beautiful little embryos.

    There’s so much anxiety in all of this, isn’t there?

    I feel like this is something in my life that I have put my all into and I failed. I spent over 100,000 precious dollars and five years of my life on failing and being sad.

    It’s fucking bullshit.

    Re: Your Dysphasia

    It sounds like a completely terrifying experience. It is especially unfortunate that you have this combined with infertility, having to take all kinds of pills all of the time. I hope your doctor is able to help you get some relief.

  6. Hope the apt. with the new dr. goes well and he can give you some answers! I think all the feelings you’re having with regards to DE are things most every woman who uses them must go through. I’m sorry it can’t be easier to come to terms with. Pray for peace & just let it out girl! We are here to listen and support you through the whole process!

  7. I hate the “it will happen” comments so much. I once expressed the sentiment to a fellow infertile (who adopted over 6 years ago) and was astonished how her perspective had changed “People aren’t just saying something fluffy to pacify you, they really know it’s going to happen” Really -as they have a crystal ball or can see the future? I’d tap that energy into Powerball rather than forecasting my fertility, but whatever. I so disagree, as I feel the “it will happen” is the ultimate platitude issued by friends who are feeling “oh, I don’t know what to say to her, so I’m hoping this line will shut her up” I’m hoping good things are coming your way, and I’ll leave it at that!

  8. That food-stuck-in-your-throat condition sounds terrifying. I hope the specialist can help.
    As for the grief of moving on to donor eggs, I’m sure it is normal. And I think that the rational trajectory of how to move forward, driven by the desire to finally bring home a baby, is rather different from the grief trajectory. My situation is quite different and I won’t claim to understand, but at least for me, I would have loved to move forward almost immediately, and at the same time I’m nowhere near done grieving the loss of my daughters. I hope that, eventually, we will both find peace with the way things are, those we chose and those we didn’t.

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