Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cease Wallowing, Commence Hoping

Tidy and I met with my RE yesterday. Have I mentioned before how much I adore her? She and her RE husband run the clinic that I go and they themselves experienced infertility. They ended up using international adoption to build their family, but only after a few rounds of unsuccessful IVF. So she KNOWS how this is and really understands the emotional decisions one is faced with.

I had emailed her the day before our meeting to let her know that I would not be going into the meeting with my usual research and plan of attack. Rather, I wanted her to tell us what we should do. I needed someone else to take control of this. I'm very tired of thinking of what-ifs and should-haves.

She laid it out on the table for us. She said, we could try once more with my body if I wanted to. We would do a cycle where we "stim the shit outta me" (my words), grow everything out to day 5 (assuming we had some that made it that far), do CHG genetic testing on them, freeze (since the results of the testing take a while) and then transfer the next month if there were any genetically competent embryos. With this process, we would have less than a 10% chance of success, given that we have already had so many failed cycles. Mostly, we would be spending the usual amount of $$ for an IVF cycle, plus the extra $5-$6K or so to do the CHG testing basically to have a more definitive answer that all of our embryos are genetically crappy and we should move on.

So or options are such:
  • Spend a ton of $$ for something that only has a 10% chance of working
  • Give up on modern medicine and move on to adoption
  • Give up on modern medicine and just hope for a natural miracle for potentially 10 more years before my body goes into menopause
  • Stay with modern medicine a little while longer and move on to donor eggs or donor embryos with a 70% chance of success
(I have my answer, do you?)

She did say something that I thought before we met with her too. She said, "Now, don't take this the wrong way, but I was really happy to see that you had a beta of 25. I shows me that implantation did occur and your body can allow that to happen."

And I agreed with her. I think that this last cycle was the push I needed, the sign I was asking the universe for, to give me confidence that my body can allow an embryo to nuzzle in. Now, we just have to find an embryo that wants to stick around.

So, after a week of wallowing in self pity, red wine, pizza with pepperoni and olives, a little tequila and some ice cream, I feel that I am starting to claw my way out of a deep hole of darkness and emerge into a new world of hope. And that world of hope begins with choosing an egg donor. We've decided to pursue egg donation. And I'm ready!!!

I'm not saying that I'm done grieving the loss of my own genetics, and in fact, I finally made an appointment with a therapist to help me with this issue and others that have been surfacing as my mom is wavering in her mental health. But, I am saying that we are done with my body. We are done putting my body through the egg growing and retrieval phase and I'm good with that. Will I always wonder what my genetic baby will look like? Yes. Will I always hope for a natural miracle when we are not cycling or moving on to other methods? Yes. But at the end of our last stim cycle, in January, on the day of retrieval, we got in the car and played this song and it felt appropriate then and it feels VERY appropriate now:

Our dog-days of putting my body through IVF are over. And I will celebrate that! We did not win the infertility war with my body but I feel a great sense of release and freedom from putting that journey to rest. We gave my body all we had. Years of diet changes, meds, analyzing every little thing I think and put into it... thinking about how it was affecting the quality of my eggs... I release you. I'm done with you. And I look forward to a new sense of hope and a new path. A path that I surely will need help on, from all of you, but one that feels like the right  next step.

Welcome back, hope, it's nice to see you again...


Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear the calm in your voice!! I think you will always be grieving the loss of your biological child, but that sadness will lessen and when you hold your baby, your love will replace it.
I can't wait to hear about your embryo adoption journey and see that first picture of you holding, kissing and loving on that babe :)

Mags said...

So glad you are feeling hopeful again! And that you're taking such good care of your mental health in the process. It's complicated, but you will make the right decisions for your family. Here with you, always, and hoping for a big round baby belly and everything else you've wanted to experience. xoxo

marilyn said...

This sounds like hope! You are on a new journey of Embryo donation! I have read some blogs with this subject. it is a hard decision to make..but what your doctor said gives hope for implantation. I so hope this works for you.

marilyn said...

Oh I love this song..I feel like it is a song soundtrack for infertility as well

Marissa said...

Awesome! I'm excited for your next step. :)

Anonymous said...

I am so excited for you!! It is wonderful to hear the optimism in your voice, and I wish you all the best in your next step. xoxox

cgd said...

I am so, so glad that you have a new plan. I am not far behind you on the donor egg front. My RE told me that 90% of implantation issues are really issues with the egg or embryo. That makes me feel much better.
On a side note, I had lunch yesterday with my good friend currently expecting baby 2 with donor egg. She used the same donor so this baby is a full genetic sibling to her 2.5 yr old son :) Just seeing her makes me smile.
Here to hold your hand through this next step.
Much love to you, my sweet sweet friend.

Gurlee said...

Nice! I am glad you have a clear path to follow. I would most definitely follow in your footsteps if our next Ivfs fail. Your baby will BE your baby!! I am excited for you and like cgd, cheering you every step of the way.

LC said...

Do you have a blog email? I have a question for you. My profile is private (long story), but here is my blog address.

If you're willing to share your email - just leave me a comment or there is a link to my email on my blog.

I'm glad you've found "hope" again. I feel as though some days I have it and other days I am still searching. Good luck to you! I can sense the relief in your post to be moving on.

RunningMama said...

This is a tough tough move. It feels like you are giving up so much. But, the only way to look at it is to see it as moving forward towards having the family that you always dreamed of. I'm sure you will find with looking at all the donors that none of them is your unique blend of features, interests, intellect, etc. But, I am hoping that there is one girl that speaks to you, that you can look at her childhood pictures and think that's my little girl. I'm not sure if that makes sense...but that's what I would think when I was looking at donors. It is freeing to think that likely in 1-2 cycles, you will be pregnant and moving forward with life. Hugs to you.

Kate said...

wow! wow! wow! so excited for you! I can't wait to see how this all unfolds. I have heard so many inspiring stories of families build with the help of these incredible women. I am wishing and hoping right along with you.

LisaB said...

You sound good! It's great to be in a better place with a plan. I am really excited for you. I'm anxious to follow your next steps. Hugs!

Chelle said...

Isn't it amazing how freeing it can be to finally let go of something that brings so much pain? It is hard, no doubt about that, and you will still grieve, but it is great that you finally feel free.

I am so excited for you to move on with donor eggs. This CAN work. I'm rooting for you girl!

St Elsewhere said...

The optimism in your post is very relieving.

I wish you all the very best.

I am also glad that your RE is so wonderful, and that she understands the emotional aspects very well too.

Infertile Farmer said...

This post was so moving. I can literally feel the weight being lifted from your shoulders. You are smart to get counseling as you make such a big decision, but I feel like you are totally talking from the heart and feel good about this next step. I am just so elated for you. HUGS!

Anonymous said...

I am soooo happy to have read this post! You seem so buoyed, so optimistic. What a gift to have that hope again. -bebehope

Cyndi said...

I'm so happy to hear what you are going to do now. Decisions decisions that's what IF is all about. I can totally understand your feeling of having the RE decide what your options and next plan of action should be. It must be a relief. How neat that you have an IF experienced RE. It's always nice to work with someone who knows exactly what this feels like.