During that "Flare Up #1" my first husband and I finally separated. It had been coming and was needed for quite some time. I was in the first months of the skin flare when I finally moved out and immediately, my symptoms resided some. The first night I left and stayed in a hotel, I slept through the night, without being awakened by the constant itching. As I noted below, though, the flare continued until later that year.
By the fall of 2006, the effects of the chemo had taken their final toll on my ovaries and I was in chemo induced ovarian failure. Not overly dramatic or emotional as I never wanted to use my own eggs for babies anyway. I knew there were many other options for starting a family. Plus, a life without "party supplies" (as I call female products) was not necessarily a bad thing. I haven't had a period in 4 years, and I gotta tell ya, I haven't shed one tear over that fact.
Life progressed along, we and I took in 2 teenagers and moved in together and immediately started planning for a baby.
Be it via IVF and donor eggs or adoption, I wanted to be a mom. My hubby wanted to be a dad. Imagine that! We were on the same train, going the same direction, at the same speed!
We decided that while I was feeling good and healthy and strong, we would try to get pregnant. I wanted the experience of "being" pregnant. I felt like I had been through hell and back and that I didn't want to miss out on any experiences, to include being pregnant.
We discussed it with the rheumatologist and decided that now was as good a time as any. I would of course be considered a high risk pregnancy and would need to be monitored quite often, but the doctor said he didn't see any reason we couldn't try. He sent us for a consultation with the high risk OB/GYNs he had worked with for other Sclerdoerma patients. They had experience with patients in our situation. Not much, mind you, because there aren't a ton of Sclero patients in the child bearing age range. Regardless, they knew what they were doing. They carved out a plan with us, gave us the ok and we moved forward.
We worked with the fertility clinic, picked out an egg donor, hubby made his contribution, the lab did their job and we were ready to get my part started.
I started hormones to trick my body into preparing for a baby. This was the hard part of the process. Physically and emotionally. Apparently my body is a little stubborn. We would go in to check the progress of my uterus and they would poke and prod and do scans and they would tell us, nope. Not quite yet. Go home, take more hormones, come back in a week. This process went on for awhile. We'd try different hormones in different doses and different delivery methods. It was emotional. We would go in, excited and hopeful that we were ready to go and we'd end up leaving let down and having to come back in a week.
Then, finally, my uterus was ready.
The implantation process was pretty quick and easy. They told me to drink a lot before the procedure because a full bladder actually helps squish things around, making the process easier. I was so excited and wanted to do whatever I could to help the process along. So, I started drinking fluids as soon as I woke up that morning. Mistake. By the time they had me all prepped and ready to go, I had to pee so bad I thought I was going to die. I was almost in tears. I had to beg (I mean seriously beg) them to let me go "let a little out" or I am sure I would have peed on the doctor. The "little" was not enough and I still had to pee ... BAD! So, while I'm sure that normally, watching the procedure on the monitor is a cool experience for people, for me it was not. I just wanted the procedure done so I could go to the bathroom.
The procedure finished, we went home and I got to spend the rest of the day in bed.
Then we had to wait a specific number of days and go back for blood tests. Then wait all day for the test results to come back. THAT makes for one long day.
Sadly, the results were not what we hoped for. It didn't take and we had a failed IVF cycle.