Category Archives: Cycle Madness

Learning to raise the white flag

Thank you to everyone who has commented on my last couple of posts. The support of this community means the world to me.

One of the comments exhorted me not to give up.

But that’s exactly what this is about.

I believe there could be a different outcome if we just kept trying and trying and trying and trying. Eventually, at some point, there would be another good embryo and a cycle that worked.

If we had unlimited financial resources and bottomless emotional reserves and endless time and an unceasing willingness to put our lives on hold, we could probably get there.

But we don’t.

One of the most insidious things about infertility treatments is there is nothing to tell you to stop.

If you succeed in building the family you want, whether that’s one child, or two, or more, then it’s easy. You write thank you letters to your doctor and the rest of staff at the clinic and skip away into the sunset.

But when you don’t end up where you wanted to be, the finishing line is much murkier.

I have a follow up appointment booked with my doctor for early December. I would love for him to tell me that we are making the right decision. I would love for him to look at my history and agree with me that thirteen embryos transferred resulting in one live birth and one miscarriage and a 70% attrition rate for the embryos during IVF cycles and a total failure to get pregnant during FETs suggests that maybe there is something else going on that we don’t know about and can’t (yet) test for. I would love for him to acknowledge that we got lucky, really really lucky, with the cycle that produced E., but that maybe he was a fluke and we should count our blessings and walk away.

I don’t think he’s going to do that. I think he’s going to tell me it’s all been a run of bad luck. I think he will be highly optimistic (because this man is ALWAYS highly optimistic) about our chances of success if we try again.

He’s not going to help us to walk away.

The onus is on us.

And here is the problem.

This is the first time in my life where working really really hard and doing everything right has not led to success.

I have not learned how to fail.

I have not learned how to give up.

I have not learned how to accept defeat.

Right now all I want to do is figure out a way to rationalize trying again.  And I can’t yet tell whether this is an indication of just how deep-rooted my desire for a second child is, or if it is a defense mechanism (because as long as I am planning another cycle that means I don’t have to actually deal with the grief), or if it is my stubborn perfectionist nature refusing point blank to accept that something I’ve done in my life might not turn out well.

I’m sure at some point in my life I would have had to learn this lesson.

I just wish it hadn’t been this.

6 Comments

Filed under Cycle Madness, Grief, Lonely Onlies?, Loss, Medical issues, Money Matters, Second Thoughts

This week

Today I had a dentist appointment.

The last time I was there my usual hygienist wasn’t there because she was doing an IVF transfer.

I’m not going to lie. I eyed her up the moment I saw her, wondering if it had worked.

It hadn’t.

I told her about the IVF cycle. About the losses.

We talked for a long time about things.  She is feeling really beaten down. It’s her second round of IVF.  Her clinic does some things really differently, so we compared notes.

She has snowbabies, so I am hopeful something will come of that. She reminds me of me, circa late 2009. I told her how I’d given up before we did the IVF cycle that brought us E. I told her that if it worked, the pain and the heartache would be worth it.

If it worked.

Eventually she cleaned my teeth. I was due for x-rays and a check from the dentist. He said I’m clenching my teeth and recommended a night guard.

I am not remotely surprised by this. I am still holding so much tension in my jaw. I’m trying to work on it during the day, but I can’t control what I do while sleeping.

***

I went back into the clinic on Wednesday. It completely blew my one full day of work in the week, but the bleeding still hadn’t stopped and I wanted to be sure.

Two ultrasound techs did a scan and then my doctor did another. Eventually they decided that my uterus looked clean.

We did a blood draw and my beta came back at 18, so it is falling as it should be.

My f/s gave me a pack of birth control pills that I’ll start next week after I talk to my endocrinologist about my thyroid dose (I’m still on the elevated dose from when I was pregnant). We agreed that my body was unlikely to get its hormones sorted out without help.

I’m tempted to just stay on birth control pills until July now. We’re not going to do the FET until after we get back from Oz, and it’s not like we’re going to get pregnant on our own as a surprise. Maybe a couple months of bcps will help my poor face get sorted out.

***

My mother and stepfather are here. They’re helping me with E. as Q. left on Wednesday to go to Europe for a conference. (As an aside, I know I shouldn’t like Amazon because they destroy independent booksellers and they hide offshore so they don’t pay enough tax, but when your husband manages to leave his computer cable in his home city’s airport, it is really nice to have a website where you can order the right cable, ship it to his hotel, and have it arrive there before noon the day after he first called in a panic. Also I am superwife.)

Thursday my Mum played with E. all morning while my stepfather and I went to the wonderful land of flat-packed Swedish furniture. I bought E’s bed frame and his storage shelving unit and his mirror and his summer duvet and his little armchair and a step-stool for the kitchen, and I splurged on a $20 night table that matched his bed frame. But what made me stop dead in the store and do a happy dance is that the duvet cover that looks blood/wine red online is actually fire engine/brick red in real life, and it is PERFECT. Perfect and $25.

E. is having a nice time but is a little bit worried about all the changes. He misses his father, which is so nice to see after the ever-s0-long phase of Daddy rejection.

***

I am getting some decent work done on the dissertation. There is maybe a light at the end of the tunnel of my crisis of confidence. My supervisor has agreed to a timeline that requires him to read the entire thing in three weeks. If we both keep our ends of the bargain (and he should as my timeline works extremely well with his other commitments), I should be able to send the entire thing, revised to take his comments into account, to the full committee before we go to Oz.

It might really get done.

3 Comments

Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, Anxiety Overload, Cycle Madness, E.- the third year, Grief, Loss, PhD, Thyroid

2.0 IVF- 9dp5dt- Oh, shut up

December 24th
Body: Psst.
Me: What?
Body: *looks furtive* Wanna overanalyze?
Me: No. I’m busy. *goes back to wrapping presents*

December 25th
Body: Psst!
Me: What??
Body: C’mon. Wanna overanalyze?
Me: No. We’re busy. *goes back to opening presents, skyping and eating nice things.*

December 26th
Body: PSST!
Me: WHAT?
Body: Let’s overanalyze! You know you want to!
Me: NO. I’m busy. *goes back to talking non-stop to her toddler for three and a half hours to keep him from melting down in the car during the seven hour journey that should have been four so Q. can concentrate on driving (since he won’t let her drive because “That’s stressful and you’ve got the twins to think of”).*

December 27th, 28th, 29th
Body: PSSST!!!!!
Me: AUGH!! Fine! What do you want??
Body: You cannot tell me you haven’t noticed. All that bloating. All that sensation of fullness.
Me: Yes. I’ve noticed. You’re not fooling me. It’s called progesterone. I’ve been fooled by it before. Not this time.
Body: Yes, yes, ok. But this time is different. You have to admit it’s different.
Me: Yes. It’s called PIO shots meet Christmas holidays. It’s FOOD, body. Overeating for a week doesn’t mix with a digestive system currently functioning at the speed of a snail.
Body: But you’ve had to think about it and tell yourself this, no?
Me: Oh fuck off. I’m going back to reading Longbourn.

2 Comments

Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Cycle Madness, Medications, Second Thoughts, Symptoms, TWW

2.0 IVF- Retrieval Recap

I figured I should post a recap of my retrieval experience, partly in case anyone stumbles across the blog looking for that sort of information, but mostly as a record for myself.

On Sunday we weren’t asked to be at the clinic until 11 a.m., but Q. and I went down there quite early so we could stop at a grocery store (as E. had eaten the last of his Che.erios and the WORLD.WOULD.STOP. if there were none for breakfast on Monday) and so we could pop into a store near the clinic so I could do the penultimate look for a particular Bruder dump truck and excavator combination. I have been looking for this for months now. I did find it once before in another branch of the same store (when I had E. in tow), but someone had stolen the excavator.

Anyway, given this store is a block away from the clinic, I’ve been going in every time I’ve had to do cycle monitoring to look. They’ve had Bruder logging trucks, and cement mixers, and cranes, and, on Friday, even a fire truck and a tow truck carrying a jeep, but not this set. E. already has the Bruder garbage truck. He loves it. He’s played with it every day for months now.

The thing with the Bruder trucks is their size. I don’t want more than two in our house. So even though I knew E. would like the crane, or the fire truck, or the tow truck, I kept refusing to buy them. I was holding out hope that this branch would come through.

Sunday I dragged Q. inside. “We just need ten minutes to see if we can find the truck for E.,” I told him.

I scanned all the shelves. I’ve learned that stock turns over incredibly quickly in this store (largely because they sell things far more cheaply than anyone else). I pulled out boxes to look behind them. Logging truck. Crane. Fire truck. Cement mixer. Tow truck with jeep. Garbage truck. Giant excavator.

“They have a lot of them,” commented Q., looking a bit overwhelmed.

I sighed. “There’s one more spot to check,” I told him. I circled back to where, on Friday, I’d found two enormous flatbed trucks with backhoes. They would have been perfect except they were SO big I really didn’t want to bring them into the house. Plus they were a lot more expensive.

The two flatbed trucks were still there. But so was one more box- a box with a dump truck and a mini excavator priced at the (ridiculously inexpensive) sum of $35.

I may have cheered.

I didn’t even hesitate for a second. I grabbed it, showed it to Q., and said, “E. is going to lose his mind on Christmas morning.”

That was pretty much the highlight of my day.

After that we wandered over to the clinic, where all the nurses in the IVF suite commented on our giant truck. Q. went off to do his thing, one of the nurses came in to take my blood pressure and get my IV hooked up (she wasn’t at all pleased at what the IV for the intralipid infusion had done to my right arm), and then we just chilled out for an hour or so.

I think it was around 12:30/12:45 when my f/s turned up (the retrieval was scheduled for noon but he is always, always late), and they called my name first. I went to the ‘loo (massively awkward with an IV attached) and then we headed into the OR. The nurse walked me through what would happen, and then she started up the drugs. I remember that my legs suddenly got really heavy and that I was feeling a bit dizzy. Then my f/s came in, started getting ready, realized I was still feeling more than he would like, and ordered more drugs.

That’s the last thing I remember until I was back in my cubicle. Q. says I actually fell asleep during the retrieval, which is a new one for me, and not really something they wanted to have happen, so he and the nurses kept having to remind me to “take deep breaths, Turia!”. Q. was sent off to buy the Dostinex to guard against OHSS. Apparently I had a lengthy conversation with one of the head nurses about taking this pre-emptive measure. I don’t remember this at all.

We stayed in the cubicle until 2:30 or so, when the nurse came to take out the IV, and I told Q. I felt well enough to go home. We went downstairs and hailed a cab. Arriving home we learned that E. had refused to take a nap, but he seemed to be in good spirits and had absolutely loved spending the day with his Auntie C. He’d made a snow globe, and a bunch of vehicles out of bits and pieces from the recycling, and had read stories, and had a blast. Q. snuck the giant truck upstairs, and I crawled onto the couch and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon/evening.

I am so so so glad Auntie C. is staying with us for this week, as it was a life saver to have her able to entertain E. That meant Q. could keep an eye on me, and make dinner, without E. getting riotous or stroppy. At one point Q. and Auntie C. forcibly bundled E. (who was protesting mightily) into his snow gear so he could go play in the 20-odd centimetres of snow that had fallen over the last day. Once he was outside, as predicted, they all had a marvellous time.

Once I got onto the couch, I felt well enough to eat, so I ate some white bread, and then a whole wheat roll. Then, when I still felt ok, I ate some pretzels and some rice crackers. When they seemed to settle well enough (I was still completely starving by this point, having eaten nothing since 9 p.m. the night before), I ate some of my sister’s granola. I think that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as shortly thereafter I realized I had better go hang out in the ‘loo for a while, and sure enough I puked my guts out.

For supper I drank around a third of a mug of miso soup and then ate some french fries. That stayed down, and by the late evening I was feeling much much better, although I was still very sore and uncomfortable. I went to bed early, around 9 p.m. Poor Q. had to come up to give me the first PIO injection and he had a terrible time with it. I realized this morning that we were using a 25 gauge needle, which is what they tell you to use on the instructions, but if you’re using castor oil, which is even thicker, you have to use a 22 gauge needle. No wonder he was struggling so much to get it in!

Monday I felt much more human. Still sore and still massively bloated, but no longer nauseous. I felt well enough to go do my duty day at E’s nursery school, and then went and got (another) poutine for lunch. It is perhaps the one good thing from this whole mess- being under doctor’s orders to eat terribly.

Now it’s a waiting game. I don’t know what their cut off for blastocysts is.

I hope we make it.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Cycle Madness, E.- the third year, Medical issues, Medications, PCOS, Second Thoughts

2.0 IVF Day Seven- Whoa there, eggies!

Hit the clinic super early this morning to make sure I could get my bloodwork and ultrasound finished before my intralipids infusion, which was scheduled for 8 a.m. The nurse in the IVF suite was just about to start my IV when I had a phone call from Q., who had an incredibly angry toddler on the other end who needed to speak to me, since apparently all the conversations we had the day before about me going in to see the doctor very early didn’t sink in. They’d just spent thirty minutes searching the house, with E. absolutely certain that Mummy was still in bed sleeping, even when Q. pulled all the covers off.

The intralipids infusion was finished by about 9:45. I ended up feeling like I was going to fall asleep again, just like last time. Maybe it has something to do with all that fat going in to my body- the nurse wondered if it was the equivalent to eating a big Thanksgiving dinner. There were a couple of other ladies in there at the same time- they were both pregnant. Nice to get reminders that things do work there.

Went back over to the main part of the clinic and managed to see my doctor really quickly. My follicles are zooming- the lead follicle was measuring 16 on one ovary and 15.5 on the other. This seemed a bit too fast to me, and I think my doctor thought the same, as he changed my meds to 150 iu Gonal-F and 225 iu Repronex for today and tomorrow. I’ll go back in on Friday and Saturday for sure. The retrieval is likely to be Monday or Tuesday of next week, so that is definitely faster than the August 2010 cycle, but I don’t think it’s too fast if we make that timeline, as my cycle in August 2010 was longer than expected. Obviously since it worked I would have been happy to repeat that pattern again here, but we can at least say with confidence that we’re not going to be dealing with an embryo transfer on Christmas Day.

Dr. L. repeated his advice to eat lots of salt and drink lots of Gatorade- minimum one litre per day to be exact.

I am feeling pretty miserable now. Really sore through the abdomen and just generally lacking any emotional fortitude. We had a terrible night last night where E. freaked out so much at Q. trying to put him to bed that Q. had to come downstairs and get me to take over because he was getting too angry, and then he was so angry he didn’t want to say goodnight to E., which upset me so much that after I had put E. to bed I ended up sitting in the bathroom crying. Then E. woke up at 9 p.m. vomiting all over his crib, at which point I deeply regretted letting him eat the entire punnet of raspberries that had been all he was interested in eating all day (along with rice crackers). Q. is so stressed about work- he is supposed to be writing a chapter for an edited volume this month, but E. being too sick to go to nursery school has completely blown a hole in his plans, so now he’ll have to take work with us when we travel after Christmas to see my family. Definitely a night where I found myself wondering why we’re putting ourselves through all of this to try to expand our family, given some days it seems we can’t even cope with one.

Deep breaths. One day at a time.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Butter scraped over too much bread (a.k.a. modern motherhood), Cycle Madness, E.- the third year, Emotions, Second Thoughts, The Sick, ttc

Gearing up

I took my last bcp on Saturday.

Ironically, given the situation, I had less bleeding on both Sunday and yesterday than had been the case for the entire previous week. But by late yesterday afternoon I figured it was ok to go in to the clinic this morning. My sister (bless her heart) came over to play with E. for the morning. They built a blanket fort, did lots of drawing, and just generally had a great time. E. was in good spirits, even though I bolted out the door very soon after he woke up.

Q. and I are going to have to figure out how we’re going to organize things for this cycle. I got in to the clinic at 8:45 a.m., which is getting towards the end of cycle monitoring hours (they run from 7:00 to 9:30 a.m. on weekdays). I got out at 11:30 a.m.

RIDICULOUS.

Partly it was because we were starting everything up, so it took a while to get all the medications together and go over all the instructions. Partly it was because the ultrasound techs were short-staffed so they were running a bit behind. Mostly it was because I’m convinced my f/s forgot about me and screwed up his rotation through his offices, as he dumped me in a room and then left me there for THIRTY-FIVE minutes, and there would have been only two more people in front of me. It’s possible he dashed off to do an IUI or two, but he’s done this before. It’s the downside of my clinic being so busy.

Anyway, Q. is going to have to look after E. any morning I’m in at the clinic. I next go back in on Sunday, and I’m *hoping* he can then next see me the following Wednesday, as E. would be at nursery school, so it won’t interfere with Q.’s schedule. But there will come a time where we’re going to have to decide whether it makes more sense for me to leave for the clinic long before E. wakes up (which means Q. will be guaranteed a hysterically weeping child), or wait until after E. wakes up, which will blow Q.’s entire morning. If I get to the clinic right for the start of cycle monitoring, I hopefully would get back home again by 9:30 or so.

You forget how much time this process takes until you start doing it again.

Last night Q. and I signed our consents and made decisions about whether we were happy for discarded biological material (eggs that didn’t fertilize, follicular fluid, etc.) to be used for research purposes (yes) and whether we wanted one of us to be able to use any leftover embryos if the other had died (no). We also decided that we wanted to use the embryoscope, provided my f/s could assure me that using this new technology meant that the embryos wouldn’t be disturbed. This did indeed prove to be the case- they have six chambers in the incubator, so our embryos would get their own spot and their perfect environment won’t be disturbed by other clients’ embryos being added or removed. We decided this perfect environment was worth the $750 price tag. This is the last time we are going to do IVF, and we had a lot of attrition in our embryos between Days 3 and 5 with the cycle that brought us E. This new incubator might help them develop. I guess an added bonus will be the fact that it gives the lab techs the ability to see which really are the perfect embryos, but if our cycle goes like last time that will be irrelevant- we only had two embryos that had made it to blast by the day of the transfer, so if we get that result again clearly we’ll just be using them.

I asked my f/s to check my TSH again and should get a call about that this afternoon. All the extra blood tests he ran came back normal, although my AMH has dropped from 37 to 20, which is not unexpected given I’m three and a half years older.  It still indicates a ‘medium ovarian reserve’, so he didn’t seem too worried about it. We spent quite a long time looking at the calendar. He felt my estrogen was a bit on the low side this morning, so eventually he decided I would start stimming on Thursday. This is going to make it really touch and go to make sure we get everything done before Christmas, so I could use some good vibes for responding well. The LAST thing I want to be doing on Christmas Day is an embryo transfer.

He’s starting me on 225 iu Gonal F and 75 iu Repronex. I told the nurse to treat me like someone who’d never done it before, so we walked through every step. It should be straightforward, but it is always stressful when so much rides on you doing the right thing at the right time. I’ll go back in on Sunday to see how things are progressing.

I’m not going to lie- I’m dealing with a lot of anxiety about all of this. I’ve been sleeping really well lately, but the last three nights I woke up at 5 a.m. and then couldn’t get back to sleep. On Sunday I spent E’s entire nap surfing Pinterest for ideas for E’s room (as we’re probably going to move him into the room that is currently my study when we transition him to a bed, whether we’re having another baby or not)- an anxiety displacement activity if ever I saw one. It mostly served its purpose as a distraction, except for the point where I realized that the mattress I want to buy E. (which is made by the same company that made his crib mattress) is really quite expensive, and while it would have been easy to rationalize purchasing it if we weren’t spending all this money on the IVF, it’ll be harder to figure out where that money will come from in our current situation.

That gets to me a lot. I think there is a big part of me now that doesn’t believe we’re going to end up with a 2.0, in which case we’re basically about to flush thousands of dollars down the toilet. And while money obviously isn’t everything, there are so many other things we could be doing with it- things that would have tangible benefits for the child we DO have. I know if the IVF doesn’t work we’ll at least have the peace of mind that we did everything we could, but I wish so much there was a way to get that peace of mind without emptying our savings account.

From here on out my focus is the IVF cycle. Any dissertation work I get done will be a bonus. I’ve basically just shelved the chapter that still needs significant work- I’m not going to even look at it until January. Instead, I’m plugging away at the notes in bold I’ve left to myself in the other chapters (they usually say things like “get this reference sorted” or “add the example with the guy with sixteen kids who’s excused from munera“). They are not sweeping changes, but they have to be made, and every one I do now is one fewer I’ll need to do when I can actually focus on my work again.

When I get overwhelmed, I just remind myself that, no matter what happens, this is the very last time I’ll be stimming. This will be my last retrieval. Whatever we get from this cycle, whatever the outcome, we’re done.

Deep breaths. Take it one day at a time.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Cycle Madness, Emotions, Medical issues, Medications, PhD, Second Thoughts, Sleep

Change in plans

Looks like we’re not waiting until December after all.

I went into my clinic this morning.

It was my Day 2, and E. was at nursery school, and it was literally the only day of the week where I could go in to the clinic without it being a juggling act, so I decided to just go in and talk to my f/s. I wanted to touch base with him about what had happened.  I wanted to just double check that if we went ahead with this last FET right now there wouldn’t be time to squeeze in a full IVF cycle in December before Christmas.  This was what I had been assuming.

I was wrong.

“Absolutely,” said my f/s when I asked about the possibility of getting a full IVF cycle done before Christmas.

I pressed him.  “Are you really sure?”

“100%.”

I didn’t hesitate.  “Right,” I said.  “Let’s do the FET now.”

The only thing I can think of is I was assuming I would have to take a full month of the birth control pills before starting stims, and that must not be the case.  Otherwise I can’t see how the calendar works out.

But it’s a result I like much much better.

Yes, I’m potentially spending the entire fall at the clinic, on birth control pills, or preparing for a cycle.  Yes, it will be busy and stressful and hectic.

But it means by Christmas we will have a really good sense of where we stand in our journey to expand our family.

It means I won’t have to wait until July to fit in a full IVF cycle.  My eggs won’t get that little bit older.  The age gap between E. and any potential sibling won’t get that little bit bigger.

It gives us the flexibility to then maybe (if needed) do a FET in the new year.  We couldn’t possibly do a full IVF cycle then- we have to schedule them outside of the semester.  They are too difficult otherwise.

I hated the idea of waiting to do the FET until December.

I hated even more the idea of waiting until July to do a full IVF cycle.

I don’t want this process to be drawn out.  I want us to either get our 2.0 or be finished.  I don’t have the emotional fortitude to have this hanging over my head for another year, or even two.

We know what works.  We know what we have to do to manage my thyroid.  We know what medications are needed.

There’s no reason to waste time.

I did my usual trick of peeking at my chart while waiting for my doctor.

My chart was amazingly thin.  It took me a minute to realize that it did have my name on it.

I commented on this to the ultrasound technician.

“Sometimes they start a second chart if the first one gets too big,” she told me.

Sure enough, my chart has a label on the front that says, in big letters, “PART 2”.

My chart got so big they had to get me a second chart.

Sigh.

I looked at the transfer report.  They defrosted the weaker of the two embryos- the 1BB rather than the 1AB.  I don’t know why they did this, but I assume they must have felt the difference in quality was so minor as to not make much of a difference to the eventual outcome.

The report said the blastocyst was collapsed after it had been thawed, but my doctor said that was normal.  He said the blastocyst came through the thaw just as they would have expected.

I’ve said before that one of the things I like about my doctor is he’s not willing to just keep repeating things over and over again when he’s not getting the desired result.  He is always tweaking- always trying to make things better.

This FET is no exception.  He wants me to come in on the day I have my lining check for an intralipid transfer, which is when they hook me up to an IV for a couple of hours and pump in a diluted concentration of fats and other nutritional goodies. It’s the same type of  solution that hospitals use (undiluted) when they have patients that need feeding tubes. Apparently there have been a number of studies that suggest doing this increases the chance that an embryo will implant because it helps keep the maternal body from attacking the embryo.

It costs a little bit, about $300, but that’s small potatoes compared to shelling out for another full round of IVF.

I’m willing to give it a whirl.

We’ve transferred nine embryos now. Six practically perfect Day 3 embryos. Three perfect or very nearly so blastocysts.

Nine embryos for one pregnancy.

Not just one live birth- one pregnancy (and one chemical where the beta was practically zero).

My uterus is perfect. We build perfect linings. We control every variable we can possibly think of. I’m on every possible medication one could suggest.

And yet there it is: nine embryos for one pregnancy.

I’m not surprised my f/s is wondering what is going on.

I’m not surprised he’s wondering if something in my body is attacking the embryos and preventing them from implanting. I already have auto-immune issues- my thyroid problems.

I’m sure we’ve already run all the other tests that would look for auto-immune problems. It may well be there’s something going on that we can’t yet identify.  Maybe what’s happening is beyond our current medical knowledge.

Or maybe we’ve just been really really unlucky.

Whatever the case, I’m glad he’s still got something else up his sleeve.

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Filed under 2.0 FET #2, 2.0 FET#1, Anxiety Overload, Cycle Madness, Medical issues, Medications, Second Thoughts, Thyroid, ttc

Regret management

I open the calendar on my laptop. I try to pick a day when I’m not teaching, when Q’s not teaching, when we’re both more or less free. Does it matter if it’s a weekend? We might not get our doctor, but then again it wasn’t our doctor who did the transfer that finally worked. I count backwards five days. That’s when the progesterone would start. I count backwards another ten days. That would be my day 2 or 3. I look at the calendar again, try to guess how long it would take for my period to start. It’s been so long since I’ve had to think about these things. I pick another day, count back twenty-one days to when I would need to start taking birth control pills. I look at the screen and blink. It’s here. Now. Today.

Round and round I’ve gone, this week, trying to wrap my head around how I feel about going back to the clinic. As is often the case when I post on here, it was you, dear readers, who clarified the situation for me.

Trying again for a 2.0 is about regret management.

What will I regret more? Trying and failing? Trying and succeeding but struggling? Not trying at all?

I don’t know how I will feel at the end of this journey.

I don’t know when or where or how I will come to the end of this journey.

I don’t know what the results of this journey will be.

Right here, right now, I know only this:

I will regret not going back to the clinic and giving those two frozen embryos a chance more than I will regret having tried should both of those chances come to naught.

Those two embryos came into being in the same IVF cycle that brought us our E.

One of them could be here now instead of (or as well as?!) E. if things had turned out differently, if they had grown a little faster, if the wee embryo that turned out to be E. had grown a little more slowly.

One of them could have been our baby.

I can’t leave them alone in the dark.

If both transfers fail, if our two embryos refuse to stay with us, will we start all over again with another fresh IVF cycle?

I can’t tell you that right now. I don’t know how I’ll feel when/if we reach that point. I don’t know how Q. will feel. I don’t know what the FETs will have cost us, emotionally, physically, mentally, financially.

I can see the road ahead only so far before the mist rolls in to hide it.

I’m trying to accept that.

I wake up in the morning, roll out of bed. Stumble into the bathroom. The pregnancy test sits next to the sink, placed where I can’t possibly miss it, even while only half-awake. I open the box and read all of the instructions, even though I already know what they’re going to say, could probably write them out verbatim at this stage. I follow the instructions. I set the timer on my phone to count down three minutes. When the three minutes are up, I check the test. It’s negative. I knew it would be negative, expected it to be negative, needed it to be negative to set this entire process in motion and yet there is still that momentary flicker of disappointment at seeing, once again, one solitary line. It is a cruel twist of the universe, to make me confirm in such stark terms that I am not pregnant before I can start the process of trying to become pregnant.

I’ve never seen a positive pregnancy test. I stopped testing after the first (or maybe the second) round of IUIs and just waited for the phone call from the clinic. I didn’t see the point of putting myself through such an emotional roller coaster first thing in the morning. I did test, twice, during the cycle that brought us E., but they were both negative. I learned from that not to buy my tests from the dollar store- if I was going to test, I had to be willing to spend real money.

After I got the positive beta from E., I never went out and bought a pregnancy test. I thought about it and then just never made the time to do it.

I regret that now.

I hope that wasn’t the only time I’ll ever have the chance to see one.

I open the box and slide the package of birth control pills out. I break the foil around the first pill and put it in my mouth. Again it hits me that I should not be doing this, should not be starting birth control when our desired result is so different.  But this is my reality. This is how I (hopefully) (maybe) (please) get pregnant.

I took my first round of birth control pills today. Targeting a FET date of 14 September.

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Filed under 2.0 FET#1, Cycle Madness, Second Thoughts

Still confused

I’m still spotting.

Not very much any more, and usually just first thing in the morning. All a bit weird.

My sister had another possible explanation. She said it could be estrogen withdrawal, where my body geared up to ovulate, but then didn’t, and the resulting drop in estrogen triggered the spotting. Without the luteal phase and the progesterone, my uterine lining didn’t build up, so I won’t have a proper period.

She knows all about this, you see, because she has been off the pill now for almost a year, and is discovering that although she apparently does not have PCOS, her cycle is resolutely failing to approximate anything close to normal. And being a scientist, she’s looked into all the reasons.

I’m not remotely happy that she’s having to deal with similar issues to me, but I do like having a scientist in the family who can give me possible explanations for my own physiological weirdness.

So I guess I’ll continue to monitor the situation and will test to make sure I’m not pregnant before starting the bcps sometime next month. And I will definitely mention it to my f/s when I’m back at the clinic in late August and see if he wants to look for a polyp or anything else (thanks for that suggestion, Bionic).

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Filed under Cycle Madness, Family, PCOS, Second Thoughts