Archive for December, 2009

The Results

First off, thank you for the advice on the follow-up appointment, it really helped me get primed with some good questions to ask.

Now for the results…most likely bad luck!  Of the 12 mature follicles, we only got 6 eggs, which surprised Dr. D a little, but all 6 eggs were mature and fertilized.  Once fertilized 3 of the 6 stopped growing, they implanted the 4 cell, 5 cell and 6 cell embryos all rated A (ratings A-D with A being the best), ideally they should have been 6-8 cells, but pregnancy can result from a 4 cell embryo.  My E2 level was good (2400 3 days before retrieval and 2000 2 days before – it dropped because they had me stop the Menopur after the 2400 result).  Most surprisingly were C’s little swimmers!  He had been ranging in counts from 6-7 million and the day of retrieval he was at 31 million with great motility, Dr. D said it was an above average sample.  Which led me to think three things, 1) maybe his surgery was successful, it just a long time to get his boys going again, 2) if he is now “cured” maybe we could actually get pregnant on our own! and 3) the lab screwed up and had the wrong sample (in which case it is a relief that it did not work).  We asked if there was anything in my blood work that would have indicated a possible issue, or anything else with me – she said no, I am ideal, I am the type of patient they hope for.  So what the heck happened if I am ideal and C’s sample was above average??  Dr. D said it  must have been either bad luck or abnormal embryos (being 39, at least 50% of my eggs are likely to be abnormal).

These results give me mixed feelings.  I feel good because we didn’t find anything that points to a serious problem that will hurt our chances when trying again, but then I am a little sad and angry that it didn’t work if everything was supposedly so good.  I will count my blessings and we will move forward.

After the appointment we talked about how we felt about everything and our options.  We discussed with Dr. D the fact that if C’s counts stay as good as they were, IUI with injections is a good option for us.  The risk we run there is if his counts fluctuate as much as it seems, and they are low the day of insemination we are screwed (no pun intended).  We discussed the move to a new clinic, which we had already decided to do anyway.  While I am confident that the information Dr. D provided us is accurate and she is a nice person and easy to work with, she does come across as sort of a salesperson (not in a good way).  When asked specific questions, her responses are many times explaining the same thing she just explained with our previous question.  So while she is answering our questions, it is not always with as much detail as we would like, it sometimes feels like a canned response.  I also can’t help but have the results from the CDC website swimming around in my head – <8%, <8%…   That is really low, even for some one pushing 40 like me.  So some time after the start of the new year, we will make an appointment to talk with a different clinic.

This brought us to the discussion of time, and me not wanting 6 months to go by and having done nothing that moves us closer to being pregnant.  But that brings up the money discussion, which is a difficult one.  C feels the pressure being the sole income in the house right now, and I feel like less than nothing because I still have not found a job after being laid off a year ago.  My parents have offered help, my parent’s friends have offered help as they went through their own fertility difficulties, even saying they would hold a fundraiser for us, but C’s pride prevents him from wanting to accept help.  I understand that, our household income is good compared to many, so we shouldn’t need help.  But we also didn’t plan for me to lose my job or to have to spend $30,000 plus to try to get pregnant.  We are working through this issue, and we will make it work, we always do.

On a non IF related front, we got out tree on Friday after our appointment.  Of course it was the coldest day in 8 months!!  But the nursery wasn’t busy and we found our tree quickly!  We got a decent size tree and it wasn’t that expensive, perfect!!  Because I had class yesterday, we haven’t decorated yet.  We carried all of the decorations up from the basement this morning, I am going to start a pot of chili and while it is cooking I will string the lights.  I always do the lights, then we both put the ornaments on.  We will probably put on a cheesy Christmas movie, eat our chili and spend the evening decorating the tree.  Sounds like a perfect evening to me!!

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Snow!

It snowed here today.  Not anything that stuck around or made it a nuisance to drive, just the soft flakes slowly floating to the ground.  The kind that when you look out the window, you think ‘how pretty’.  Fall is my favorite season, but I do look forward to the first snows of the season.  The dog and I went for a walk while it was coming down a little heavier, her brown fur was speckled with little white dots.  She loves the snow so I was glad we were able to be out in it for a little while.  The cat wanted to follow us outside, but I don’t think he would have appreciated the cold or the damp fur from the snow, besides he is an indoor cat.   (He is snoring away near me right now, sleeping on the back of the couch under the warmth of the lamp.)

While Fall is my favorite season, my truly favorite time of year is Christmas time.  It fills me with so much joy!  I love all the preparations for the holidays, the decorating, shopping for and wrapping gifts, all the baking (and I do A LOT of baking), and getting to spend quality time with my loved ones.   While sitting in the living room at night alone this week (C is in NYC), I decided it is definitely time to decorate!  I need that warm glow of the lights coming off of the tree.  So, I think tomorrow evening C and I will be venturing out to choose our Christmas tree.  We said we were going to get a small one this year, in part to save money and in part to make life a little easier.  We will see when we get to the nursery what happens, I can’t help but want the biggest tree that will fit in the room!  I will try to restrain myself.  I even wrapped some presents today, I actually have most of my shopping done, at least for my side of the family.  We need to work on C’s side, we always have a much harder time coming up with gifts for them.  We are trying to keep the holiday costs down this year and I am doing very well so far!  The IVF came in handy to help out with that.  I earned a lot of reward points on my credit card by using it to pay for the procedure and medication, so I have successfully shopped for my nieces, nephew and grandparents and only spent $15.  If it didn’t result in a baby, at least it was good for something.

Some news on the IF front, we have our follow-up appointment with Dr. D tomorrow morning (finally!).  A few weeks ago when I made the appointment I had all kinds of questions for her, but now after spending the last few weeks focusing on everything except IF, I have forgotten most of them.  I guess I should have written them down.  C and I plan to brainstorm tonight to come up with more than the one I can remember.  If any of you have any suggestions, I would appreciate it!

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Reflecting

Three years ago last month, C and I were married.  I was looking at one of our wedding pictures, it was one of the best days of my life.  The twists and turns our lives take are amazing.  Do you ever end up where you think you will?  I thought I would be married long before the age of 36, but so glad I waited for the right man.  I thought I would have figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up long before the age of 38, but I think I am finally getting that on track.  I always wanted to be a mom of three, now I feel like I will be lucky if I even get one.

I am not giving up on any of my dreams, but it is hard not to get discouraged from time to time.  For the most part I am doing better about the failed IVF, but there are days when it is tough.  Days when I feel very sorry for myself, days when I feel like we will never get to the next IVF, days when I think I will never be pregnant and days when I think maybe I am not meant to be a mom.  One of the things that scares me the most is how quickly time goes by.  From the time we found out IVF was our only option to the time we actually started the cycle was eight months; and before that, from the time we found out C had male fertility issues until he had the surgery that was supposed to help, a lot of time passed.  We get busy, life keeps moving at break-neck speeds, yet we are moving at a snail’s pace on the fertility path.  I am afraid six months will have gone by at the blink of an eye and we will be no closer to starting our next cycle than we are now.  I need to do a better job of staying on top of it so that doesn’t happen.

That leads me to my next topic, obsession!  In going through the cycle I became obsessed with our story and treatment, other’s stories and treatments, it was all IVF all the time!  This is completely understandable and I don’t regret focusing on it that much.  I think it is only natural, a baby is something you desire so greatly and when you have to work so hard to get the baby, of course you are going to give it that much attention.  I talked about it with C all the time; whether it was what was going on with us or relaying information from the blogs I was reading.  But over the last few weeks, I have moved my focus completely away from it.  I actually started this post three (almost four) weeks ago, it had been a particularly low day and I thought it would be good to get those feelings out.  I got stuck writing.  Periodically over the next few days I would come back to the post, but just didn’t have it in me to write.  I also didn’t have it in me to read others blogs, even though their experiences, words and support mean so much to me.  As more days passed, I found myself focusing less and less on the infertility and I started to feel better.  I don’t think I realized how much I needed to step away as much as I did.  I don’t think I gave myself enough time initially to heal and that is a necessary part of the grief.  Of course I still think about the IVF and our next steps, but it was nice to not be giving it 100% of my energy for a while.

So now, I am back and will work hard at finding a balance.  Please forgive my absence in both writing my own and responding to your blogs.  I hope I haven’t lost you, because I know I would not have gotten through this experience thus far without you and know I will value you as we move forward.  Please know that my lack of comments recently on your blogs in no way reflects how I feel about you and how much I still support you and wish you all the best.  Hoping to be welcomed back with open arms.

J

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