How we got here…

Well, Hi.

Welcome to my new little corner of the world. I’ve been blogging since 2003, mostly publicly with occasional forays into private but this is the first time I’ve had a completely anonymous blog. It feels kind of dirty and kind of wrong but at the same time, there is a reason I’m doing it. This decision, this choice to go forward (or not) with donor eggs, with 3rd party reproduction is huge. It’s not just my life, it’s my kid’s life. It’s not just my story, my husband’s story, it is our kid’s story. And I’m not ready to have every person who reads my public blog to know and talk about it behind our backs. So… onward and  inward we go.

Who are the players in this story?
me: cracked eggs (CE)
husband: shitty sperm (S2)
kid: bucket o cute (B0C)

How did we get here? Well, do you want the long story or the short one? Right after I turned 30 I was hit viciously by baby fever. I wanted a baby so bad I could taste it. 45 seconds later it was 9/11 and the whole world turned up side down and my baby lust was quadrupled. Unfortunately, my husband is 2 years my junior and was not only not ready, but subsequently laid off (like so many others) right after 9/11. It was not good timing. Little did we know, that was the story of our lives.

It wasn’t till about 18 months later that we got on the same page.  There were many fights, many tears and all around a rough time in our marriage, don’t really wish to relive that shit. Finally we pulled the goalie we’d used all along (condoms, insert laughter here) and went for it. My cycles were like clock work. 28 days. I started every period on a thursday at 10 am for YEARS. When I started charting my BBT was text book.

And I didn’t get pregnant. A few months in I was drawn to infertility blogs like a fly to honey. The more depressing the better. The longer the story, the more I was riveted. I read the old timers from start to finish, weeping with every miscarriage and every failed cycle. Apparently part of me knew I’d need them. When we hit the 6 month mark, I knew something was wrong. I come from a long line of fertile women, women who get pregnant easily and a lot, women who get pregnant on the pill. I was not pregnant.  I called an ND I knew, and got some preliminary tests run.
SA: normal.
CD3 blood work: normal.
HSG: painful as fuck, but normal.
Post coital (yep we did that): normal.
Mid-luteal bloodwork: low normal progesterone. Score! after 3 months of progesterone supplementation: not pregnant. ND referred us to the RE she’d worked with (and had a “miserable failure of an IVF”, ended up adopting two gorgeous kids) and away we went.

I remember heading into that appointment with Dr. M (M for magic? M for mystery? M for medical intervention!) with excitement and trepidation. I was a hippie who wanted a conception that involved fireworks and incense, not clo.mid and stirrups. He looked over my charts and tests and told us we had at this point ‘unexplained infertility’ and he wanted to move forward with clo.mid and IUIs. I cried in the car, grieving the conception I thought we’d lost and all that we’d have to give up. I. had. no. fucking. idea. what I’d just signed up for.

Clo.mid sucked. My previously easy cycles were painful, rife with PMS and I didn’t get pregnant. By cycle 3, Dr. M suspected a hidden sperm issue. The first two trips to the masturbatorium had shown that S2 had fine specimen, but then they seemed slow, and the numbers dipped. And dipped. Dr. M ordered a more intense sperm analysis and lo and behold: anti-sperm anti-bodies.

I remember that visit pretty vividly, even all these years later, probably because I’ve seen that look on Dr. M’s face a million times since then. He smiles, shakes your hand and says “well I hate having to tell couples bad news” and then he informed us that IVF was our best bet. It was like my heart sunk and yet I knew we were headed there they whole time.

We did 4 more IUIs while S2 was on steroids trying to affect the ASA and while we gathered funds and tests for IVF. And we didn’t get pregnant. Are you keeping score? Now we’re at almost 2 years, 7 IUIs and thousands of dollars.

IVF#1 (Sept 2005): Fail mock transfer and need a laminaria. Ever want to hear a horror story? If so, take me out for a drink and I’ll tell you about the laminaria. The rest of  the IVF #1 story is pure awesome. I stimmed decently on minimal doses of gon.al F  and ended up with 14 eggs, 13 embryos (ICSI, if you want to know), 2 to transfer on day 5 and 6 in the freezer.

And I got pregnant. 400 weeks later (yeah she was really late) I had a gorgeous baby girl and put infertility behind me. I came, I fought, I won.

Then we wanted another baby. I boldly thought we had 6 freezer tots, one of those was bound to become a living baby right? nice try, asshole.

FET #1 (Jan 2009): This is the beginning of the year that shall not be named. Thaw 3, two survive watch one hatch on the screen before transfer. Positive beta that starts low and just gets lower. Reality sucks. Spend sometime trying to heal from a miscarriage that didn’t really happen since I wasn’t really pregnant.

FET#2 (April 2009): Pre cycle estrogen is ridiculously high, causing us to wait a month. Thaw 3, two survive, but aren’t growing well. My pants are off so we might as well transfer, right? Negative.  Estrogen levels high, FSH levels borderline.

IVF #2 (Sept 2009): Stims under bitter duress. Stress in the household is at an all time high as our 3 year old is being diagnosed with developmental delays and eventually Autism. Stimming with go.nal F at highest levels with minimal results. This is the first time Dr. M mentions the possibility of donor eggs. I shrug him off cause bitches, I’m only 38.  7 eggs, 4 embryos, 2 at day 5. Hail mary pass is thrown. Incomplete.  It’s not just about showing up to the game, it IS about winning.

Anxiety? yeah. Therapy? definitely.  Decide I am done with infertility treatments forever. Weep. Weep some more. Realize I’m not done. Draw a line in the sand. Erase and draw again.  More therapy.

September 2010: new idea, IUIs while we try to weigh options. fail. fail. fail. (this makes 10,  yeah, 10). Consider mini IVF.  Become friends with someone going through a DE cycle and find myself thinking about it (and her) constantly. mull, think, ponder. S2 gives me the impression he doesn’t want to try anymore but when I ask him straight out he says “yes yes 100 times yes” and yet I still fail to make an appointment with dr. M. Something is holding me back.

March 2011: Meet with Dr. M. to discuss one last fresh IVF cycle. Discuss PGD to choose a healthy embryo since I’m seconds away from turning 40 (my personal cut off age, I’m ready to be done with this game, folks). I mention that this is our last hurrah, our last try, and then we’re done. This is when he says something akin to ‘if this is your last hurrah, if you really want to take home a baby, you should consider donor eggs’.

And for the first time, I don’t want to run away. I don’t feel like I’d be hiring some 22 year old to do what I clearly am too old to do. I don’t feel like it’s another slap in the face, another failure. It feels like we’ve always been on the road to here.

So. Here we are. Our appointment with Dr. M was 5 days ago. When our favorite nurse called the next day to discuss timing for our fresh IVF I told her that we were leaning toward DE and the next day I got an email from the 3rd party reproduction team.

Hang on tight kids, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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~ by zeneggs on March 27, 2011.

5 Responses to “How we got here…”

  1. I love you. And I’m with you every scary, amazing, difficult step of the way.

  2. The next time anyone gives me a sad look when I tell them it took us 3 years and (just one) IVF to get our two healthy kids, I am sending them here. What a ride. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ll be back to cheer you on!

    • Thx Chelsea, I never think my story is that interesting till I tell it all in one sitting. I joke with my RE that we must have the fattest file in the clinic. He just raises his eyebrows and gives me a shrug.
      Congrats on your lucky IVF. I wish it were so for everyone! I thought we were lucky after our first… apparently child the second is making me work for it.

  3. Found you through LFCA and am your newest follower. I’m getting ready to go through an IVF cycle with donor eggs. So I will be very interested to see how your journey goes.

    • Hi New Normal! I glanced at your blog and wanted to send you some extra love. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’ve experienced late term loss/stillbirth very imtimately with several friends (and patients, I’m a healthcare provider). There is no easy way out of it, it just sucks. ❤ ❤ ❤ I'll be following you, and cheering you on too!

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