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BABYTIME, FERTILITY, LIVING WITH BREAST CANCER

Fertility update: At Least I’m a Dog Mom

By Rethink Breast Cancer March 13 2019

Let me just start off by saying I’m not pregnant. But I HAVE become a mom, a doggy mom!

It’s been five months since my miscarriage with about three failed pregnancy attempts in between. How one can get pregnant literally the first try with no outside help but then have no luck at all (even with the assistance of medical professionals) is beyond me. We began by trying out cycle monitoring – where you go to the fertility clinic up until the doctor lets you know you’re ovulating and it’s time to have sex. Every visit welcomes you with a long line up, a blood test and an internal ultrasound (what a great way to start your morning!). This can be almost every other day in a two-week time span, just exhausting! The next step was to do an IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) this is when you go through cycle monitoring and when it’s time for ovulation your partner does his business in the other room – they do a sperm wash and inserted directly into the uterus to help the little suckers get to the eggs in a more efficient manner. The doctors even pump you with meds to try and get the best eggs and follicles possible. Out plan would be to try 2-3 IUI’s then use my frozen embryo as the last resort. And after that…well I rather not even think about it at this point.

To throw another curveball in the mix, my infection returned. It first started back in July 2017 and presented itself as cellulitis (a common bacterial skin infection) with a fever, inflammation of the breast, pain and redness. Initially, I assumed it was brought on by a tattoo I got in Vegas on my Bachelorette. Yes, I know it’s cliché, but I got a little heart on one of my radiation dots on the left side of my breast. Cancer resulted in me getting four tattoos in total, so I was going to just own it. Of course, when the nurse and doctor suggested this, I felt terrible that I may have brought this on myself but relieved when the antibiotics worked, and I was released from the hospital. After this first visit, I had at least three more hospital admissions and around a dozen infections since then. It was finally under wraps when I was taking the antibiotics four times a day. My infectious disease doctor assured me that this should eradicate it after a prolonged dose of antibiotics.

After a year on the drugs, I thought it was time to wean off. What I learned was the infection was simply hiding and came back forcing me back to my four times a day dose – also coming right before my last IUI resulting in added stress. I thought, so now not only do I have to deal with my infertility but also deciding what to do with my implants, which are causing me issues.

Anyways back to the baby update….

The two weeks after an ovulation/procedure are always the worst. The first week I try and keep distracted but by the second week the cramping and paranoia begin – “Is this the implantation cramps people talk about or is my period coming?” Every trip to the bathroom is filled with anxiety.

As I heard the news again “I’m sorry you’re not pregnant” and as my options become less and less due to my timelines being off Tamoxifen, my motherly heart kept aching. So, I  would turn to my husband and say that I wanted a puppy but then days would pass and I would quickly get over it. But this time he agreed and so did my parents who would be puppy grandparents and number one babysitters. Spontaneously we went to visit some puppies two days later and this being my first time, I didn’t realize that it’s impossible to visit puppies without bringing one home. So, we ran to the store picked up all the goods and came back for our little baby, Einie (named after the dog from Back to the Future, my husband’s obsessively favourite movie).

Not only was this the first spontaneous thing I’ve ever done in my life but I am also getting a little glimpse of motherhood. Ha! Sleepless nights and cleaning up tons of pee and poop. Too bad my work doesn’t offer “pupternity” leave.

I am so happy to welcome my little distraction into my life but it still doesn’t make my need for a child any less. But slowly I am coming to terms with the idea that we may only have one child (if we are lucky enough for that) and I’m happy that this beloved child will come into the world with a little puppy sibling to keep them company.

 

To read more of Dory’s fertility posts, click here