And another BFN…

So my FET has failed…When the hpt came up negative I was not able to believe how unlucky I could be that even donor egg embryos didnt implant inside me at just the age of 26…. Something really worrying and depressing that nothing has worked despite having tried so hard…

We had contacted Serum in Athens last month and they had suggested the antibiotic ritual before transfer and testing the sperm for fragmentation since they didn’t approve of the quality of embryos we had at the London Women’s Clinic. We had 5 blastocysts overall and the grading was 4BC 4BC 4CC 4CC 4CD. We never knew we were to discover more…

Our sperm fragmentation results came out a few days ago and it showed high fragmentation. This explained the average to below average quality of our embryos. The Dr. at Serum has told us that with such high sperm fragmentation I will never be able to get pregnant and even if I ever do, I will miscarry before the 9th week itself. This somewhat explains the chemical pregnancies I have had.

Penny at Serum had asked me to test my period blood for infections and Chlamydia. It is the Locus Medicus test that happens in Athens only. The results showed that I had some trace of chlamydia which could be the reason for my elevated immunes and hence I would need antibiotics to suppress this infection which would enable implantation. Which further means that I have nothing much to worry about related to my diet – my problem is related to the infection inside me. This trace of chlamydia is not an STD. Anyone can get it and from anywhere.. public swimming pools, public toilets , jacuzzis etc. Since I have this infection , it means he has it too and this infection is one of the culprits for the sperm fragmentation..

My husband and I were extremely shocked to find out that our sperm was what caused us so much of pain and sadness all these years…we always believed it was my eggs but as it has come out to be.. its the other way around. Penny has suggested using my eggs with donor sperm but I am very tired of doing IVF after IVF or maybe I am just too paranoid of using my own eggs. I just feel my eggs are too bad to make good embryos. It is so badly engrossed in me that I wont be able to perform well. 

It was hard but I convinced him to use donor sperm with donor eggs. He was just not able to believe that he will have no DNA connection with his baby but after some convincing he realised that I have been through way too much and that I really need a child now to be happy. He feels for me that I have been on hydroxychloroquinine sulfate for nearly a year and been doing painful LITs and IVIG/intralipid infusions without any results but with so much of added risk to my own health. He has come to realize that living with pain and sadness is not worth it when at the end DNA doesnt matter. It is the happiness and love we are missing out on by not helping ourselves.

All the misery his parents put me through… all for not having conceived a child when the sperm was never really tested. Just yesterday his mom was whining about us not having a child yet when he told his mom about it. She was not able to believe it. My husband and I had decided not to involve his parents in this matter since they offer no help whatsoever but he only told her because she was whining against me and he could not bear it anymore that they give me a hard time when I am really not the one responsible (even if I was the one responsible, no one has any right to disturb anyones happiness or give them more trouble when they are facing infertility).

Of course we haven’t told his mom about the donor sperm plan but I cannot explain how relieved I feel and the burden I feel lifted off my shoulders after finding this all out… It just feels like we are headed in the right direction..

We have decided to go with 50% own sperm and 50% donor sperm all with donor eggs. IVF stimulation drugs cause too much of hair loss to me due to the stress I take so I have no intention of injecting myself with any more stimulants. We are planning a cycle in end January 2017 so for now we are just going to relax and give ourselves a break.

Waiting for a miracle and not ready to give up yet.

Advertisements

One of the crazy days…

When you cant conquer your emotions. Yeah one of those crazy days.

I am trying really hard ever since my BFN to control my emotions and feelings but nothing seems to be helping although I know that I really want to stay calm and not be hopeless… I am feeling a bit mad specially today and right now.

So on my birthday when I had the BFN… my husband’s brother’s wife decided to “tell me about something special”. Yeah, she’s pregnant again. Which means I will be further mistreated by the in laws. Not only that – I will be left to feel disgusted about my womb and my luck. 😢

Even the first time she fell pregnant, it was the week my 4th IVF had failed into a chemical. I just don’t know how to face this constant “boo” on my face.

My in-laws always say “she’ll never be pregnant” and lucky for them – its been proven right all these years but I still cant give up…

Stepping ahead

So I have been testing everyday since 6 days post FET. All have been negative. But I am really not devastated. Even before I had made my first test this go, I had decided that no matter what the outcome.. we will raise a child be it from my belly or some other route.

Just minutes later I knew my result and I knew what to do. Personally speaking I am so happy I made that decision because that very decision had me smiling on the day of my negative test. True wonder.

For the first time in so many months or years I feel relieved of the stress or pressure to fall pregnant. I now realise what levels of hidden stress I was facing. I am noticing that I am very chatty since the last 2 days and hey I am sleeping way better. I also feel life is too pleasant not to be enjoyed… I have truly missed out on a lot. Whenever friends or family told me not to take stress … I never really understood that I was facing hidden stress asides the stress that I was actually facing. Does what I am saying make sense? I am sure you all understand where I am coming from.

I have been questioning myself…

Q) If any of my fertile friends were to face all the treatments that I have without gaining any success.. what would have she done?

A) she would have opted for a surrogate baby after the first few failed ivfs and never done this life threatening immunes treatment. (I haven’t created this answer myself). My friends say it all the time that we can never think of what you are doing to yourself. At those difficult heart breaking moments I used to think ‘you guys dont know the entire picture. But if you were to face my situation you would have tried as hard also because failing without trying is harder than failing after having tried so hard’.

Q) Do I want a baby who is from a surrogate but healthy or a baby who is from me but not healthy (a friend’s child has Downs Syndrome)?

A) My immediate answer was a healthy baby

So its clear now. To be honest I am even beginning to think if I am infertile at all. Our 50% DQA match is the reason why I havent been able to conceive in my last 9 treatments or in the last 5 years. My husband and I are too used to eachother to start of new lives with different partners, we have spent 6 years together building this arranged marriage into a healthy loving marriage. We have passed through times of extreme tight account balance and yet managed to pass through all of it constantly trying to save up for medical bills. We have passed through tough times when my in-laws tried to force him against me and break us apart. We have endured everything together and for eachother. I just want to hold a baby now, who will most probably be his child but from a surrogate. I am not going to rely on my eggs anymore or do any further treatments based on my eggs because I am polycystic and too paranoid about failures. Right now I just want a bundle of joy.

Just to enjoy 9 months of pregnancy, I have not enjoyed 5 years of my beautiful young age (21-26) when I could have achieved so much emotionally, spiritually, financially , materialisticaly and of course professionally.

We have found a surrogacy agency in Greece, where we had our honeymoon. Guess the honeymoon place always has something to do with the couple’s future. Starting the legal documenting process this week. Wish us luck and remember us in your prayers.

Some of the fellow bloggers were quite supportive in my last post. Thank you for making me realise that surrogacy is not giving up it means moving a step forward. Thank you for being such good friends who I doubt I will ever meet but pray for at odd times. May all of us be blessed soon with our bundle of joys.

 

Cheers

 

Transfer Cancelled.

First of all I’d like to thank all of you for being such loving blog followers and for all your kind words and support at all times.

Well today was supposed to be my third donor embryo transfer this year but due to the elevated cytokines, Dr. Gorgy cancelled it.

Maybe I would have wasted my embryo and got really upset by seeing another BFN despite switching to donor eggs.

So now the plan is to work on my cytokines and test in a few days time. If the result is great, I’ll transfer in the September cycle. I am beginning to think the depressing June and July trip to the in laws place made my cytokines flare. Our inner feelings really impact our health. Whenever I am positive and happy, my result turns out good or just fine. Whenever I am depressed, my result is not even worth looking at.

So now I am staying happy, eating all the anti inflammatory things , working out, keeping a positive and healthy frame of mind and above all I am keeping a strong faith. Everyone who tried as hard did really get through and get what they wanted. I should believe in myself and not let myself down. I have always wanted to see that flicker in the 6 week scan, hear the heartbeat in the Doppler, carry my baby in my belly, experience those wonderful kicks and movements, crave foods, watch those amazing ultrasounds, see my baby move, eat and jump in the scan, go to MY baby shower, mask my face with the pregnancy glow, shop for my baby while he/she is moving inside my belly and I take it as his or her approval or disapproval for things, experience the moment of delivery and child birth – when anything and everything is about you and your child, experience that moment when I hold my baby for the first time that was inside me for 9 months and keep him or her on my naked body to make my baby feel the comfort and touch of his/her mother! I want my husband to rub my belly with love and satisfaction and take care of me /us because he is happy not because we are sad and undergoing treatment. I think with such deep feelings inside I am not ready as yet for surrogacy. I am only 25 and my life is putting me through things that someone over 35 doesn’t have to go through either.

My body has got me feeling insulted and less of myself. The stares and glances of the world including of my in laws makes me feel like I am not blessed and forsaken. My husband’s younger brother who married 2 years after us had a baby girl last year -my in laws really appreciate his wife and child and make me feel very bad about myself and my body. In front of me she was given the super treatment that I always longed for but due to infertility I could only watch others pamper her and treat me with bad looks and words at the same time. I don’t have any jealousy towards anyone, I just want my fair share of happiness and importance. I was a very loving daughter in law but now it seems like I am the bad person and unimportant.

Enough depressing talk about the past, I just wish I succeed and my hard work pays off. When you cant give up..

 

 

when a final decision had to be made

We headed to our clinic the very next morning after landing and we were just determined to start now. We had waited since January to do this IVF and it was the 1st day of October already! We wanted to see our baby’s flickering heartbeat and have a healthy pregnancy resulting in our precious bundle of joy. We just wanted that desperately.

The down regulation started and soon enough the stimulation started and the egg collection was done by end October. We had 19 eggs collected and they were doing brilliant. We were ecstatic!

5 days past the egg collection we received the clinic’s call and they told us they wanted to see our embryos grow more and we were scheduled for a day 6 transfer.

On the 6th day past egg collection we headed to the clinic. Don’t they say the mother always knows about her babies? Well I had a sudden feeling that day that maybe my embryos hadn’t done well and I became worried. We kept waiting in the waiting area and my nervousness kept increasing. I kept on telling my husband that I had a bad feeling about the embryos but he kept telling me to stop being paranoid. Then an embryologist saw us and gave us the much dreaded news that the embryos hadn’t proceeded since day 4 and were still morulas! We were shattered and devastated. It was November and we had waited to do this IVF cycle since January and today after all the months we had NOTHING to transfer?

They told us to wait for a few more hours to see embryo growth – Of course I had no hope but we just had to wait hopelessly. We waited for 5 hours and finally I was told my embryo transfer would be done. I didn’t want to transfer embryos that were of no good but I was finally introduced to Mr T today and he did the transfer and convinced us that the embryos had grown significantly since the morning. I don’t understand what had  made him lie to us and secondly all the months when I was getting treated I never got to see him or hear from him and today just to make me a bit hopeful about the clinic’s concern regarding my embryos -they made Mr T do the transfer.

I am not here trying to bad mouth the ARGC due to my bad eggs – I have had failed multiple times at other clinics but I have never been treated this way by any clinic and what I really didn’t like about them was their irresponsibility at all times and how I used to keep waiting and be stressed just to hear from them regarding further protocol over the last couple of months. A patient is supposed to be kept calm and stress free but these guys gave me more of the opposites. I used to keep reading bad reviews about their chaotic clinic here and there asides the success stories but the huge amount of success stories made me feel ‘it will be all okay and I shouldn’t worry about other things asides my treatment outcome.’

10 days past transfer our BFN news came crashing upon us and we were destroyed. In a foreign country, having had tried so hard since months and having spent tonnes of thousands of Pounds – we had nothing yet. Absolutely nothing.

I decided to finally go for donor eggs and continue with my life. I hated the donor eggs option because I felt the child wont be ‘mine’ but I wanted to live a happy and complete life now – I had been through way too many drugs and hurt myself way too many times with too much of hope. I had decided and so had my husband – only difference was he and I had decided differently. He wanted to remarry a second time (which is completely acceptable in Asian culture) and I wanted to take up donor eggs. So now we weren’t on the same page.

 

2014- The Bombardment

Start of 2014, we decided to do IVF once again! We were courageous enough to go through it after a whole year had passed after our last ICSI. It had also been a year since the move overseas and we had settled by now. We went to see our local doctor and he put us both on vitamins for 3 months.

After completing the 3 months of vitamins, our suppression started. This was a completely different cycle than my first 2 ICSI’s, the doctor had put me on the long protocol. This time my husband gave me the injections at home and we realized how silly we were to go to a laboratory for the injections every day during our first 2 ICSI’s.

The 4 clomid rounds in the past had already made me lose a lot of hair and every time they’d recover a bit, I used to be ready again to start a new phase of treatment. The suppression drugs made me lose hair in chunks. I still wonder if it was the suppression drugs or the stress related to my studies or the sadness and loneliness that I used to feel every now and then. Losing hair became another reason for me to be sad about. I used to have thick hair and now every year I lost hair like a sick person would and I would feel insecure when I would see other girls with thick beautiful hair. It really used to make me feel unattractive when I would see myself standing in the mirror, thin as a stick and extremely less hair. 😦

After suppression we had the stimulation and then the egg collection and transfer. I think I was over stimulated and I had 30 00cytes collected! 21 eggs and 20 got fertilized! We transferred 3 embryos on day 3, 1 embryo was an 8 cell and the other 2 were 4 cell. The 8 cell was a healthy embryo, the 4 cell were late as they should have been 8 cells by now also. The 8 cell embryo made me very happy and I couldn’t wait to find out I was healthily and happily pregnant! 2 weeks later when we tested, it was negative all over again!

We were really sad and disappointed , we didn’t know what to do because we really wanted babies and our lives to move forward. We weren’t ready to wait longer. We did a 4th ICSI the very next cycle. On day 21 of my cycle, the suppression of my ovaries started and the same protocol of stimulation, egg collection and transfer was carried out. This time we transferred 3 8 cell embryos on day 3! We also had some 8 cell embryos frozen! That was a huge improvement from my eggs! I was really happy and I was extremely positive about this go. It just had to be it now! Sure enough, it wasn’t. at the end of the 2WW, we had to face a BFN.

I had missed my period for a few days that ICSI attempt so I was thinking I was pregnant and maybe I was pregnant for a few days because when my period started, I had a huge clot flow out of me which was orangish whitish and yellowish and the size of the palm of my hand. After it had come out, I fainted and fell to the ground. Luckily, my husband was around who held me and shook me so I didn’t faint for more than a few seconds. Why had that happened? Why didn’t this very embryo implant? It was my fault or lets say my my doctor’s fault. At the beginning of our 4th ICSI, my husband was very worried about my physique and health. He felt that the 3 metformins a day were extremely heavy for me and he wanted me to take a break from it all. So he discussed his concern with my doctor and the doctor allowed us to stop taking it completely! Hence, my insulin levels must have been completely out of range after I stopped taking the metformin pills and my negative pregnancy test result was right in front of me and I just stared at it with shock and sadness.

2014 was full of birth announcements, 1st or 2nd birthdays, weddings, pregnancy announcements and many other progressions in everybody else’s lives. Whereas we were still stuck and didn’t know how to expand our family. Couples who had married 1 or 2 or even 3 years after our marriage were having babies and proceeding with their lives. Some friends were sending their babies to play schools already. Time had flew and we hadn’t realized because we were on a pause. I used to be looking at the calendar on my phone waiting and planning. For what? For ovulation, 2 WW and AF and God knows what not. My calendar was marked with reminders and dates not for parties or events but for starting medicines, injections and protocols. I felt like I was living the life of an old person’s, taking a bunch load of medicines and having moods of all kinds. I was a completely different person than what I was when we married, I was certainly not what my husband had chose for his life partner.

Then there were some good things that happened in 2014 – we made a huge bunch of friends and they were all very active and full of life. We used to meet up with them on the weekends and have a great time laughing, chit chatting, singing and dancing. Getting ready and going out to meet friends really used to make us happy and forget our troubles for a few hours. 2 other couples in the group had faced difficulty in trying to conceive their babies and now they had their first baby’s. Meeting them really made us hopeful about our future and we had their support whenever we needed some encouragement to continue treating my infertility. They recommended their doctor to us and we made an appointment with this new doctor for August 2014.

I had my exams in the summer of 2014 so I remained busy and occupied with that but of course the doctor’s appointment was always on my mind.

Finally the day of the appointment with the doctor arrived and we visited his clinic with lots of hope and courage. The doctor reviewed our long history and he suggested a long protocol and to transfer blastocysts this go. We were ready to start suppression by end of August and by end September my stimulation was also completed. The egg collection was done and we had 21 eggs fertilized. Then began the wait for the embryos to become blastocysts, which they never did. 😦

On day 5 of the cycle, my embryos were morulae yet. However, the doctor believed in miracles and he transferred 2 morulae and wanted me to remain calm so that my cycle would work. Of course, I was worried but I kept my faith strong. 2 weeks later i had a BFN again and for the first time ever I broke down crying in front of my doctor.

He told me to handle myself and he told me he didn’t see a reason why I wouldn’t ever become a mother. I just continued to cry and nothing he said seemed to help but made me cry harder.

The year of 2014 was a complete bombardment of ICSI’s, Big Fat Negatives, fights amongst ourselves and the cherry to top it all with was the birthdays and birth announcements of everyone we knew.

I began to feel extremely guilty for being so infertile and not being able to give my husband the babies he always longed for. I started hating my body and my tiny stomach which was brought about by heavy metformin. I was a mess all over again. I used to cry to sleep every night and became completely hopeless.

On the other hand, my husband did a lot of research on how to improve egg quality and we somewhat found the answer. He made me join a gym for daily work out for an hour at least and he bought me lots of herbs and OPKs. We were going to try herbal remedies now to cure my egg quality issue. I started taking Vitex, CoQ 10 and Pregnacare.

The daily work out used to make me feel very relaxed, energetic and helped me to sleep better. I was trying hard once again but this time I was much more practical in my approach. I used to go for swimming and yoga on alternate days and spend a few hours at the gym daily so that I wouldn’t be lonely at home. I was still 48 kgs but I started to eat healthy and tried to gain weight. I barely became 49 kilos but I was much relaxed and happier than before so I didn’t worry myself about my weight. I also started sun bathing for 10 minutes daily because I had recently found out I was low on Vitamin D. which could have been a reason for no implantation happening all these years. I was taking things positively and I wanted to help myself not for myself but for my dear husband who loved me so much and never let go off my hand through my tough times.

If you read on the internet, lots of people conceived after using Vitex for 2-3 cycles. I started Vitex in mid October 2014 and by within a month I was noticing changes in my cycle! My periods became less painful, my ovulation became stronger and easier to detect, I had more cervical mucus than before and most importantly, I started having 28 day cycles! I had always had a 30 cycle and going from a 30 to a 28 day cycle is a big improvement in cycle terms! I was delighted and I was waiting for two cycles to happen at least so that I could start to expect a positive pregnancy anytime just like other women on the internet had got success from this lovely herb within 2-3 cycles.

In December 2014 we decided to move to a new house and after settling in and again choosing the place for my baby’s crib in my new bedroom, I traveled to meet my parents for my younger sister’s wedding. Life was good 🙂

 

 

 

2013 -One bad thing lead to another

We moved overseas in 2013 and although I was excited at first within a few days the loneliness and emptiness in my house affected me severely. Every day when my husband would be leaving for work; I used to have a sudden feeling of loneliness that would want me to stop him from going because I would have nothing to do but to unpack loads of cartons and set up a lonely empty house. I had always enjoyed decorating but for some reason at this point; I was lacking the passion to decorate my house. It was a new country, new house, new neighbors, new supermarkets to do grocery from, new dry cleaners, the entire environment around us had changed. I didn’t have my friends or family with me to support me during this phase. I was a complete loner; I was still a stay home wife and my house was silent. Pin drop silent.

I longed the cries of my baby and his/her movements around our new house. I even decorated my room keeping in mind the place for the baby’s crib and the baby’s rocker. My entire life seemed to be dependent upon the happiness and liveliness a baby’s arrival would bring to my house. Life was on a hold already. My life had always been fast paced and happening; I had never waited for anything to happen and suddenly the feeling of being ‘infertile’ was killing me and I was not able to do much about it.

A month after the move; my beloved sister’s husband passed away from Cancer. She was only 27 and had two daughters with him; Aged 4 and 2. I was grief stricken and I decided to visit my sister for a whole month to support her and help her cope with the sadness. I started to hate on life, it was full of sadness for almost everyone. Everyone seemed to be facing difficulty of one kind or the other. Some were sick, some lost their parents at a young age like my sister’s kids, some saw the deaths of their spouses, some were child less like me, some had nothing to eat or drink due to poverty and some were refugees and had lost entire families in wars. I didn’t enjoy living at all; My old spirit kept dying and I stopped smiling. I continued to lose weight due to the heavy metformin and depression. From 52 kgs I became 48 kgs and I looked like a sick and starved person. It seemed like my life was stuck in a bad cycle; One bad thing lead to another.

I had to find a gynecologist also; Everything was just new. Nothing could be the same, life had changed way too much. My sister’s sadness drove me mad and I had to face my own sadness of being childless and lonely in a completely new country. My parents and my siblings didn’t know about my infertility struggle so I didn’t have anyone asides my husband to talk to. He himself was adjusting to living in a new environment so I tried not to bother him as much as I could.

We found a gynecologist near home and although he wasn’t what we really wanted for our doctor to be; We decided on doing clomid rounds all over again. I was 22 only so any 1 cycle with proper ovulation had to work. We took clomid all over again for 3 cycles and we used OPK’s to track ovulation and had timed intercourse. During the 2WW, I used to insert progesterone suppositories for the first 10 days of the luteal phase. Every cycle it used to be saddening when I would see a negative pregnancy test and have a painful period at the end.

Happiness had stopped coming our way; It seemed to have diverted from my home to somewhere I wasn’t able to find it. Life was under complete darkness and I felt like running away. Running far away from everyone and everything and without stopping. Even under bright sun light, my life seemed as dark and bleak as a prisoner’s. I didn’t know what to do and how to handle myself or my emotions. I tried looking for a job but with my high school qualification it was almost impossible to find a decent job that my husband would allow me to do. I tried to keep myself busy with cooking , reading the newspaper, watching the television but nothing impressed me or made me happy. I lost the reason to wake up in the mornings and sometimes I used to be sleeping until noon. 😦 Waking up so late caused me to sleep late at night and I would stay up until dawn sometimes; Crying silently and thinking about my infertility and sad lonely life. The sadness and weight loss made me lose my appetite even more. I stopped eating and drinking and taking care of myself. I didn’t even realize what I was doing to myself and how I was worsening my chances by doing all those silly things.

I should have got up and joined a gym to work out which would have helped me increase my appetite, made me sleep better, reduced my stress levels and helped me to have a positive energy filled attitude. I was a mess and not impressive anymore. As I type; I realize what a depressing sight I must have become for my dear loving husband who would come home tired from work and the long office commute. I resent those days of my life and I hope no one ever falls into the mess I had fell in as I continued to let infertility ruin my precious young age.

On the other hand; My husband was always looking for ways to help us. By the summer of 2013 We thought about doing another ICSI/IVF. Before trying my husband just wanted to get a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) done on me to check if my tubes were okay and there were no blockages. We had a HSG done in July 2013 and it came out perfectly fine. Amidst all the sadness, just one thing coming out to be fine raised my spirits again! We thought about the expenses associated with IVF/ICSI and now we even knew that my tubes were working well so we decided that we didn’t really need IVF. Maybe what we really needed was IUI so that the sperm was up close to the egg to fertilize it at the right time.

In August 2013, with lots of hope and happiness for the future, we had our 3rd IUI. It resulted in a BFN but we were so happy and positive from the results of the HSG that I felt ready to do another IUI in Spetember 2013. And again, it was a BFN for us.

I wanted to take my mind off all the fertility treatments and wanted to do something about my future since it seemed like waiting to have kids , waiting for ovulation, waiting for 2 weeks to test for pregnancy, waiting for AF if the test was negative, again waiting for ovulation etc was way too much to handle and involved too much of waiting. It practically was like waiting for sun up and sun down, nothing else. I hated how I was waiting on everything, My life was on a complete pause. Everything and anything revolved around having a baby. For instance, once I had gone for a body massage, I told the therapist not to massage my stomach hoping I would be pregnant and I didn’t want anything going wrong that would stop implantation from happening! I literally became physically inactive in the 2WW just because I was ‘trying’ to maximize my chances of conception! I was really going crazy and had brought my life to a complete stop just to be pregnant. I used to feel sad that I was wasting my life waiting for something I didn’t even know would ever happen to me or not. So, I signed up for the University of London International Program. I wanted to hold a Bachelors degree and not feel stupid among people who held their Masters or multiple bachelor degrees. It was time to help myself instead of sulking all the time. I began my independent studies at home since it was an online degree. I used to study for atleast 12 hours a day, it kept my mind off my sadness and now I started sleeping well again. I started waking up early and tried really hard to pass my exams with good grades. Although the intense studying was stressful for me, it was helping me to stay away from crying to sleep every night. At that point that was all that mattered to me; I wanted to remain sane.

Please continue to read what happened further down in 2014. More on that later.