Flashback Series – Birth Story.

In my previous post Flashback Series: 38 weeks 5 days. I had left off with having gone to the hospital for pre-induction; however, I did not get into much detail about how that all worked.

I was brought in to the hospital the night before my induction to get checked, see what my body was up to, and to plan for the following day. My husband did not have a lot of time off, so he had to plan things carefully for the week; therefore, my mom came with me to the pre-induction, saving his days off for the big day and a couple of days after. When we arrived at the hospital, we registered at the Emergency Room (as directed) and made our way right up to Labour and Delivery. The doctor on call checked my cervix, which was sitting at an almost 1 cm. They decided to insert a Foley catheter, rather than give me medication. The Foley is a catheter  (small tube) that they insert through your cervix and then inflate. The pressure of the balloon is then supposed to help dilate your cervix naturally. I was monitored for half an hour, and then sent home to rest for the night. I was clearly unable to get any rest as I was having strong cramps, and my adrenaline was pumping for what was to come!

They had informed me in the hospital that the Foley will fall out once the cervix dilates to 3 cm, and should that happen through the night, to toss it in the garbage. I had clear instructions to return the following morning at 8 am regardless.

The morning of October 16, 2018, we made our way to the hospital shortly before 8 am, a painful 15 minute car ride from our house; I seriously don’t know how people manage to long hospital trips in full on labour! Once we made our way back up to Labour and Delivery, I was placed in the assessment area (where they have 6 or 7 curtained off beds, rather than actual delivery suites) to check the catheter (which had NOT fallen out through the night). The had me change into a gown and asked me to attempt to pull the catheter out  myself, just a “gentle tug” they said. Well, let me tell you – a “gentle tug” was not working, nor did a stronger yank! They finally checked me and realized that I had only dilated to slightly over 1 cm! *cue the anxiety that my body would not respond to anything as expected*

They ended up deflating the Foley balloon and removing it, starting me on Pitocin. They said they would monitor me for a couple of hours but if I didn’t dilate, they may have to send me home for another night of pre-induction. I was worried and full of doubt that my body would progress as it needed to. After two hours of gradually increasing doses of Pitocin, and minor contractions that started right off the bat at every TWO minutes, I stood up to use the washroom and felt fluid run down my leg. I laugh at myself now because my head went directly to thinking that I was bleeding; thankfully, it was just my water breaking! After that happened, there was no turning back (or sending me home)!

My goal was to try to avoid taking pain medication throughout labour, to use breathing, moving, and the hospital labour tub to ease my pain. I wanted to FEEL it. I had spent so many years dreaming of the day I would get to experience labour, that I wanted to experience it all. I was not afraid of feeling the pain, it hadn’t made me nervous leading up to the day at all, and I was looking forward to the whole process.

LOL

I’m pretty proud of myself, I made it through 8 hours of contracting every two minutes, with the pain increasing rather rapidly. As my nurses and doctor knew that I was attempting to avoid an epidural, they were very encouraging with it all. When the pain hit an unbearable level, they said they would check my cervix to see if the progress would keep me on track and add some encouragement to keep going. Turns out, in 8 hours, I had only dilated two more centimeters! I was at 3 cm….so I tapped out. I asked for the epidural. I am not upset or ashamed of this. My goal was to try without pain medication, but as with the rest of my birth plan, I remained aware that anything and everything could change. My real goal was to roll with the punches and adapt as we and our team saw fit.

By 4:30 pm I was getting the epidural. The nurses were amazed at how fast the anesthesiologist was able to get it inserted, it took only two minutes! It quickly began working and helped my body to relax, and progress started to occur.

Also, a side note – I want to take a second to acknowledge just how many times I vomited throughout the process haha! Seriously though, my husband’s main tasks through the day were applying my lip chap and anticipating my need/holding my puke bags as I threw up, time and time again.

After the epidural, we were all able to relax a bit and try to get some rest. I closed my eyes, though sleep never did happen for me. My family had some dinner, went and checked on our animals, and just collected ourselves a little bit while we had the chance. Partway through the evening, I was getting some feeling back in my lower half despite me hitting the red button. It did help during the delivery to be able to know when my body wanted to push! At 10:30 pm, it was time to start pushing! In case you didn’t know, vomiting while pushing actually helps your body to push better lol. I pushed for approx. 45 minutes and then my sweet baby girl was here. Guys, I pulled her out myself! I’m not even kidding.

We hadn’t found out the gender during pregnancy, deciding to add a little bit of surprise to a process that doesn’t allow for much. After she was born, it hadn’t even occurred to me that we didn’t know yet and took a few seconds before the doctor asked if we were curious.

After she was placed on my chest, my doctor and nurses started scrambling about and looking more serious. I was rather oblivious to anything going on, aside from having my sweet girl with me; however, it turns out that I was hemorrhaging. They were rushing around pushing hard on my belly, trying all sorts of medication, and doing everything they could to make the bleeding stop. They were finally able to get it all under control, just short of me having to be brought into the OR.

I am so thankful that they were able to avoid that, and that my sweet little girl arrived healthy and happy.

She’s my everything.

Nov. 10, 2019 8:17pm.

My fingertips are tingling and my hands are going numb, my chest is tight and heavy, and everything feels foggy.

I want to go for a run, but it’s dark and freezing outside – and let’s face it, pulling myself out of this fog enough to get organized for a run seems impossible.

This is my anxiety. This is a part of me I don’t really tell others about. Most times I think of reaching out, my anxiety talks me out of it; what a vicious joke that is.

I have people, someone to talk to, someone I tell pretty much everything to, but I still push it down.

I thought writing might help but right now I’m struggling to even get words out.

Fuck.

Flashback Series: 38 weeks 5 days.

Pregnancy for me was relatively easy and rather wonderful; despite the anxiety you experience after going through what we did to get pregnant. I had a scary moment one night when I went out for dinner with some girlfriends. I went to use the restroom and there was some spotting when I wiped – I was probably 6 or 7 weeks at the time. I panicked, to say the least.

After completely freaking my husband out, and a long night of worry, I was able to get in touch with our clinic the following morning and it was determined that if everything had stopped, they would not bring me in for a scan ahead of schedule. As it turns out, it was most likely caused by doing the ‘hibbity dibbity’ the night before. (Definitely took a while before that happened again).

Aside from that, my main ongoing symptoms were a complete disinterest in food, some mild morning sickness, and heartburn from hell. The heartburn was so bad that I would wake myself up at night, out of a dead sleep, choking on acid reflux and then proceeding to run to the washroom to vomit. I loved it all, I really did. I cherished every moment of being pregnant. In all honesty, on the few days that I felt completely fine in that first trimester, I would panic and spiral about my symptoms being gone and was convinced that everything must be going wrong.

Thankfully, everything went rather smoothly throughout the entire pregnancy. We decided not to find out the gender of the baby, leaving it as a surprise for the big day. It was decided by my Doctor that we would have an induction at 38 weeks 5 days if the baby didn’t come by then; which of course, it did not.

Throughout my pregnancy, I was constantly worried about my body not doing what it was supposed to; including labour and breastfeeding. When I got to 38 weeks 5 days, I was equally concerned about the induction process as I was excited about the next chapter. I have to say though, I was not someone who was wishing away the end of pregnancy, nor was I counting down the days. I was (and still am) so grateful for the experience, and loved every minute of it, that I didn’t want it to end. At 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I was brought in to the hospital to start the pre-induction and then sent home for the night to let things start on their own.

Until next time ~ The Birth Story.

 

It’s been too long.

For this, I am sorry. I have absolutely no clue how many people actually follow me on here (as in, who cares to see my posts/what’s going on); however, I am someone who has been frustrated in the past when looking for answers, find a blog I can relate to, yet there is no update as to how everything turned out.

So here we are. I will update – it might take a few posts to get everyone up to speed but I feel like I’m back in a place where I am ready to commit to some posts.

In my last post BETA results… from Feb 23, 2018, I had shared that my HCG results came back positive and my numbers were increasing well for the first time ever. I was in shock, in disbelief really. After a long battle with infertility, going through with donor eggs, and being down to your last two embryos, I was losing hope. After the HCG results came back, I spent quite some time feeling like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. Things just don’t turn out well like that for me. I stopped writing out of fear that I would jinx myself, and it would be my own fault that everything went wrong when it did.

BUT, I am delighted to say that our beautiful, amazing, and joyful little bundle arrived on Oct 16th, 2018. I will post about her birth story at a later date, as well as so much from this first year we have been so beyond lucky to have experienced.

I will understand if some of you choose to stop following my journey at this point, as I know the gut-wrenching pain of reading of other people’s successes when your own soul feels completely obliterated. If you choose to unfollow, thank you for being here through the toughest part of my life and please know that I will still be sending love and thoughts your way ❤

For those of you who continue to follow along on our journey, thank you.

Though this blog may contain a different side of things, I am still infertile. Infertile Me. This will never change and so I will continue to update with the goings on of this little family of ours.

BETA results…

My nurse asked me if I had pre-tested at home so I had to admit to her that I had. She was super excited that I had gotten a positive and told me that she would call me first with results. She called me by 9:30 to tell me the amazing news! I was in shock and uncertain of how to process the information. 48 hour wait for BETA #2 nearly killed me and I was super emotional. I was just waiting to hear that I was having another chemical pregnancy.

BETA day #2 arrived and I had been super nervous waiting for the results. I was training my staff team for the day but was so distracted that I kept glancing at my phone through the whole thing. 9:30 came and went, and as the day progressed I became more and more convinced that they had left my phone call until later in the day because it was bad news.

The call finally came in around 1:30…

I am even more in shock now. I’m not quite sure how to process this news right now.

I’m terrified, to be honest; terrified to be happy about this, to get excited, to let my thoughts start to contemplate the possible ‘what if’s’ in the case that this has actually fucking worked….

I am already so in love with Little Squish, I just want to meet this little one some day.

It sounds so weird to put this out there but I am 5 weeks 1 day pregnant today.

Ultrasound in two weeks, keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it will all go well.

One day left.

One more day of what feels like the longest two week wait ever. Just over 14 hours and I will be at the clinic getting my bloods taken and for the first time ever, I can’t wait. I want to see the numbers now. I can tell you right now, I am more pregnant than I have ever been before. I took a HPT (well actually, a lot of them) and it’s the darkest I’ve ever had.

I just need to see the numbers now, to make sure things are going in the right direction…

The Catch Up – The TWW Begins (pt. 5 of 5)

Following my FET on Tuesday Feb. 6th, I was put on bedrest for three days and as I had taken Friday off as well, that day pretty much was spent watching Netflix as well. I am going to list my symptom spotting below, day by day, as this is what I use to look back on from cycle to cycle for reference.

1dp5dt – I was having twinges/full feeling in my uterus area, a headache, I was gassy, had a headache, and my breasts were definitely tender; though, I assume that is from all of the progesterone I have been taking.

2dp5dt – Continued having twinges/full feeling in uterus area, woke up early and couldn’t get back to sleep, vivid dreams, sore/dry throat, congested, cried easily, peeing a lot, one dizzy spell, mild breast tenderness.

3dp5dt – full feeling, twinges/cramping, woke up early again, sore/dry throat, runny nose, watery mouth, nausea began in afternoon, hip pain, shooting pain in left breast, mild breast tenderness, shortness of breath, shooting pain in vagina (lightening crotch as I’ve seen it called lol).

4dp5dt – full feeling starting in afternoon, queasy, mild disinterest in food, woke up multiple times throughout the night, twinges, sweating/hot flashes, stuffy nose, dry throat, watery mouth, tired, shortness of breath, random bout of heart racing while resting, hip pain, mild back pain, gassy, sore vagina, gentle stabbing feeling in uterus.

5dp5dt – vivid dreams, woke up early, full feeling, runny/stuffy nose, sensitive nipples, nausea (almost threw up due to mucous), minor sensitivity to smells, dizzy, nipple zaps, burpy/gassy, cramps, sore lower back, sore hips, sore legs, hot flashes. *becoming hopeful about this cycle*

6dp5dt – woke up early, hot at night, full/pulling feeling in uterus, sharp twinges, nausea that varied throughout the day, smells are overwhelming, cramping, stuffy nose, cramps that feels like burning, bloated, headache, shortness of breath, get tired easily, sweating after minor activity, very cold at bedtime.

7dp5dt – stuffy nose, cough, woke up early, cramping that feels like burning, nausea (gagged on vitamines), shortness of breath, slight disinterest in food, sore back, very tired, smells still somewhat overwhelming, shooting pain in uterus when standing quickly (twice), feeling cold, irritable, left nipple is larger.

8dp5dt – nauseous all day, dizzy, smells slightly overwhelming at times, feeling cold, shooting pain when standing (once), tired, sore back, irritable, headache, sweating after minimal activity, crampy/burning feeling, slightly more emotional.

9dp5dt – woke up early, cramping/burning feeling, bloated, pulling feeling, stuffy nose, vivid dreams, night sweats, dizziness, lightning crotch, shortness of breath, tired midday, hip pain, metallic taste in mouth, heartburn, nauseous at times (most often after activity or eating), itchy nipple, appetite increasing in comparison to previous few days, constipated. *starting to get worried as symptoms seem to be lessening, are not as consistent throughout the day*

So that’s it for now, as usual the past nine days of my (literal) two week wait have been an absolute rollercoaster ride of emotions. At times I am extremely hopeful, at times I assume that if it did work it is now ending anyway as a chemical pregnancy, then there are other times I find myself imaginging that this will work and thinking about the future. I wish I could sleep through the entire two weeks so that I don’t have to go through the mental anguish of it all.

Either way, I go for my beta testing on 14dp5dt, which is coming up (EVER SO SLOWLY!!) on Tuesday Feb 20th…

Bah!

The Catch Up – FET Cycle #6 (pt. 4 of 5)

After our mock cycle, which ended at the start to mid-December, we took a short break over the Christmas Holiday so that we would not be stressed out during that time of year. We were instructed to call the clinic on Jan 2nd to see what our next steps were.

Over the holiday, I did not get a withdrawal bleed from the mock cycle; which, had me quite worried as that had never happened before. Mind you, being that I don’t get a natural cycle, I wasn’t entirely shocked. The timing was awesome considering both of my clinics (the big clinic and my monitoring clinic) were obviously closed the whole time; so I turned to Dr. Google and determined that the likely cause was because I was not taking any progesterone with the mock cycle. When I called them on Jan 2nd, the nurse told me she would talk to the Doctor and get back to me. When she did, she informed me that I was to go in the following Tuesday for an ultrasound and bloods, just to see where I was at.

When I went in the next week, they did a ‘quick’ scan (as quick as they can be when they ALWAYS have difficulty finding my ovaries) and bloods, then proceeded to tell me that they needed my and my husband’s yearly bloodwork to be completed and consent forms to be signed (and witnessed at the clinic) before we could move forward on another cycle. Now, this doesn’t phase me whatsoever; however, my husband has an intense fear of needles – I give myself all of my injections as he doesn’t even like to see it (that being said, he has offered repeatedly to help if needed, I’ve just refused as he’d probably pass out or something HA!). Thankfully, over the years, I seem to have gotten it through to him that he needs to suck it up for his ONCE A YEAR bloodwork, and he only complained minimally. So once we had gotten through those tasks, we were told my scans were fine and I could begin a cycle as soon as the other results were in. I was told to expect to be waiting approx. 2 weeks for the results, which had me a little bit worried as February was a very busy month for us with my husband having numerous kidney stone procedures and appointments.

*Side note on the kidney stones* – folks, I need to admit here that I had assumed my husband’s pain tolerance was rather low, especially since he has been complaining about his kidney stone pain for nearly a year now while waiting for all sorts of various Doctor/Specialist appointments. Turns out I owed him a huge apology. He ended up in the Hospital Emergency Room one night and while we were there, the ER Doctor informed us that two other men were in that evening with kidney stones that measured 0.4cm; however, my husband’s largest (as he has many) was measuring 1.7cm and was completely blocking his ureter. She didn’t know how he had managed to not come in prior to that.

Now, back to the cycle… our bloodwork came back within a week and we were given the go ahead to start an FET cycle. As I do not have a natural cycle, I was told to just pick a day I wanted to start. I picked two days later. So on Friday Jan. 19, I returned to the monitoring clinic and had another scan and round of bloodwork that they were considering CD 3. I heard back that afternoon with the following protocol:

  • Estrace tablets (vaginally) 2mg twice per day for the first 5 days, then increase to 4mg twice per day
  • Estradot Patches 100mg per day
  • Aspirin 81mg/Prenatal vitamin/Vit E/Vit B
  • After 5 days, first intrauterine infusion of Neupogen 300IU, repeated every 3 days (3 infusions total)
  • Five days before transfer, begin taking Endometrin Vaginal Suppositories 100mg three times per day AND Progesterone in Oil 50mg (or 1cc) every other day

I feel the need to share a little about my Neupogen Infusions this time around; actually, to be more precise, my first Neupogen Infusion for this cycle. For my mock cycle, my Doctor was the one who complete all three of my infusions, so when a female Doctor walked in an introduced herself, I was taken aback. THEN, the things that came out of this woman’s mouth had me in shock! As she was getting prepared, she was making small talk and asking me about my previous experience with the infusions. I told her that I had experienced some severe back spasms following my first infusion but had not had any on the susequent treatments. I carried on to tell her that it wasn’t the spasms I was concerned with at that moment, it was the pain of having the catheter forced through my cervix that was giving me some anxiety. She proceeded to tell me that people don’t usually feel the catheter at all and that I must be sensitive. Which she then proceeded to follow up with “you should definitely get yourself an early epidural then if you can’t even handle this!”

I could not believe she had the audacity to say that to me, knowing what field she is working in, and it’s not a fucking guarantee that I’ll ever even make it to that stage!! She then gets busy doing the infusion (which hilariously enough I didn’t actually feel this time) and states “you must be taking estrogen vaginally, looks like a smurf down here!” WHAT!? Keeping in mind my husband and I have actually made numerous jokes about my smurf vagina when I am taking estrogen, this was coming from a medical professional who currently had her face between my legs – and who had already JUST insulted me. I was shocked to say the least. Thankfully, I had two different Doctors for my subsequent Neupogen infusions and I never saw that woman again.

I didn’t have another scan to check my lining until two hours before my third Neupopgen Infusion, so I was a little worried not being monitored more regularly.

The morning of that scan, everything was seeming to go wrong. My drive to the clinic takes approx. 2 hours, depending on traffic and depending on what our crazy Canadian winter happens to be dishing out that day for weather. Thankfully, although it was cold, the snow seemed to be holding off and I made it to my appointment right on time – where I proceeded to wait for over an hour to be called back for my scan. I’m pretty sure they forgot about me, so when I was the last person in the waiting room, I kindly reminded them that I was there. They took me back and had the quick scan, unfortunately the ultrasound technicians that the big clinic don’t tell you what your measurement is, so I had to wait again to speak to a nurse. While I was waiting, I went to the front desk to pay for my Neupogen Infusion. As soon as the payment went throuogh, the nurse came to get me, and informed me that I would need to get a refund. I was so confused, when she got me back to her office, she told me that my lining was at 8mm!!!!! I know this might not seem too crazy for most of you, but 7mm was nearly impossible for me to reach, I had never ever seen 8mm before!

She instructed me that rather than have my third Neupogen infusion, I was to start the progesterone that day, and I would be in on Friday for transfer. I was so happy. I went to get my refund, and then left. As my luck would dictate, I was called by the nurse approx. 10 minutes later and informed that I would need to do the third infusion, as Friday was took booked up for transfers, and they would need to push me to the following Tuesday; therefore, another Neupogen infusion and a delay in starting the progesterone. She asked that I come back the next day for the Neupogen, but I told her I was just around the block, and would return in ten minutes to have it done.

I was told to return the following Sunday to have a Matris Scan completed to check the quality of my lining. The results came back the following day at 7/10, which is standard for me. I was scheduled for my transfer at 12:45 on Tues February 6th.

The transfer went off without a hitch, and I remained on bedrest for three days as per my Doctor’s orders.

The Catch Up – Mock Cycle (pt. 3 of 5)

It seems as though once I finally got back to writing, I am not stopping until we’re all caught up…

Following our failed FET Cycle #5 I asked my RE about finally giving Neupogen a try. He suggested this a long time ago but then chose not to as it does carry some additional risks as it is a white cell growth factor. Essentially, it will speed up cell growth and therefore, if there are dormant cancer cells there is a possibility that it could wake them up (for lack of a better term). Ironically enough, Neupogen is most widely used in cancer treatments.

Although there are clearly additional risks, I was (am) desperate. You see, we had 6 blastocysts from our donor eggs and had already used up 4 of them. Meaning we had only TWO left after 5 cycles (one got cancelled). So to say I was panicking would be putting it lightly.

My RE finally agreed to let us move forward with using Neupogen in a mock cycle to see how I would respond. Starting mid-November 2017 he used the following protocol to rest our my response to the new drug:

  • Estrace tablets 2mg twice per day (vaginally) for first 5 days, then increased to 4mg twice per day
  • Estradot patches 100mg per day
  • After 5 days, get first intrauterine infusion of Neupogen 300IU
  • Neupogen to be repeated every 3 days (3 infusions total)

I had my first lining check completed on the same day of (a few hours before) my third infusion and it was 7.4mm. Again, this measurement was done at my monitoring clinic which tends to measure slightly thicker than it is. After my third infusion, I waited six days before returning to my main clinic for another measurement check which turned out to be 7mm. Now, this is from a girl who struggles to hit 7mm…ever. Although this was clearly an improvement, I was disappointed that it wasn’t thicker as my measurement a few days before hand was 7.4mm.

Although I felt disappointed, my RE felt that this was an improvement and that we should move ahead with a cycle in the new year. He also eventually admitted to me that he hadn’t expected it to work at all but figured he’d try anything for me as (in my words) was such a lost cause.

Neupogen for IF/FET is still fairly new out there so I wanted to write about my experience with it. From what I have read, there as two ways to take Neupogen; as an injection (which I have no experience with) and as an intrauterine wash. From what I hear, the intrauterine wash is a similar process to an IUI; though, as we moved straight to donor egg ivf, I have no experience with this. The catheter for the infusion was the worst part overall, it hurt a bit going in each time. Also, the medication itself is to be kept refrigerated so the cold medication causes your uterus to cramp a bit as it goes in.

After my first infusion, I also experienced some severe back spasms about 10-15 minutes afterwards. In had just gotten into my car when they started and let me tell you, it was somewhat terrifying and incredibly painful. They lasted about 5 minutes or so before going away. Thankfully, I had been messaging a very dear friend of mine when it started and she kept me calm.

I did some fairly significant research and discovered only 1.02% of people taking Neupogen suffer from muscle spasms shortly after the medication is administered. So of course I would fall into that rare category! Other side effects that I had were joint/muscle pain (minor) and some slight nausea.

*Read my next post for my other experience with Neupogen.*

The Catch Up – FET Cycle #5 (pt. 2 of 5)

We’re going to flashback to September/October 2017 now and I’m going to take a quick minute to update you all on FET cycle #5.

We started our cycle shortly after the start of September as we wanted the summer off to just relax. I had done the same thing the year prior and I ended up having the best summer ever. This summer was really nice as well and we got to do a number of camping trips, cottage weekends, visits with friends and family; which turned out to be exactly what we were looking for.

So once September started, we chose to start trying again. This cycle, they had me on The following meds:

– CD 3-7: Estrace 2mg twice per day (vaginally) and Estradot patch 100mg every day

– CD 8-End: Estrace increase to 4mg twice per day (vaginally) and Estradot patch 100mg every day

– CD 15-16: Added Prgesterone in Oil (25mg or 0.5cc) every night @ 7pm

– CD 17-End: Increased Progesterone in Oil (50mg or 1cc) every night @ 7pm and added Endometrin Progesterone Vaginal Suppositories 100mg twice per day

– CD 18-22: Added Medrol (corticosteroids)

– CD 18-End: Added Fragmin (heparin injection) daily

Two days before transfer, I had another Matris ultrasound done to check my lining and the score came back at 7/10 (lowest they’ll transfer with is a 6/10).

Although they initially measured my lining at 7mm at my monitoring clinic, we ended up transferring with a lining of 6.5. (Scans at monitoring clinic tend to read slightly thicker, RE thinks their machine might be older or they are doing scans a bit differently.

We transferred a single embryo (not allowed to transfer more than one per cycle due to local regulations) on CD 20. I had to wait 14 days to complete our first Beta and cracked around 7dp5dt and took a HPT…BFN. I honestly hadn’t had high expectations but was still crushed.

Symptoms during that wait were petty all over the place, but I don’t doubt it was because of all of the different meds I was taking. Here was my list: nauseated on and off, some odd twinges at times, crap sleep, tender boobs, and of course I caught a cold at that time (which is a guaranteed TWW issue for me, without fail).

However, the cycle was a bust. Again. Man, infertility really wears a person down (was going to write ‘wears a person thin’ HA(!) that’s the opposite of what I’m getting!