Saturday, December 1, 2012

So as it turns out, I'm not dead

And nor have I given up on this whole "let's see if we can have a second kid before I am 45" dream.

It's been a while, so here's a brief summary of where I've been (and where my head has been, which to sum it up, has pretty much been all over the place).

- Start trying for baby number two in Feb 2012.  On second cycle get pregnant with low but normally rising betas.  After 7 weeks and a heartbeat, get kicked in the teeth when I develop a SCH and miscarry.  Cry.  Lots.  Feel that this was my one decent shot and that the stupid SCH f*cked it all up.  Have no data that actually proves that to be true, but I hold onto that like it is an article of faith.  Because I'm positive that way.

- After D&C and some healing, jump right back in. If I can get pregnant once, I can do it again.  And screw you for mucking up my life with a MC.  Manage to squeeze in a cycle before we go away for July.  Commute by car and train 4 hours for transfer to find that only embryos I've got kinda suck -- 6, 5 and 4 cell.  Hoo-f*ing-ray.  Enjoy the rest of vacation and then get a call with BFN on the way back home.

- Try another cycle. Because you know, I'm not going out on crappy embryos like that.  Crank out 15 eggs.  Exactly zero fertilize with ICSI.  They try to do IVM and some do fertilize after that, but none develop.  Nothing to transfer.  I hit the lowest of the low. Because what I've always believed is that if I am cranking out a fair number of eggs (always more than 10, up to 18), I should actually have *better* odds than my age group would predict.  But if nothing f*ing fertilizes because there is something else going on?  Well then my statistical chances of having a real live baby are pretty much also zero (which would be, for those of you following, *less* than the statistics at my advanced age.)  Rant and rail against the unfairness of it all and realized I probably made some piss poor choices that got me to where I am 42 years old and trying to have a kid.  Review my entire adult life and proclaim it a huge mistake and failure, except for the miracle of B. But frankly, he'd be happier with a younger mom and a sibling too.  So feel like sh*t.  Still do, most days.

Have long heart to heart with RE.  His view is that we need to do some research into what's going on with my eggs and DH's sperm.  After a long consult with the andrologist (who was one of the first to use ICSI, so I guess he knows what he is doing, their general belief is that there is something weird happening with maturity of my eggs, and while they appear mature, cytoplasmically, all is not well.  So a protocol change is recommended for what may be our very last try. Because if we can't get my eggs to fertilize, then we are done.

- Try again in October.  18 eggs, 16 mature, 11 fertilize. I breathe a huge sigh of relief that we have figured out how to get my fertilization rates higher (pretty much anything above 0% would be good, but now I am right up by the ICSI averages for the first time ever). Transfer 4 good looking embryos (8,7,7,7) and feel completely confident that we have figured out the problem and the cycle will work.  Except it doesn't.  Because despite knowing full well that the likelihood of a chromosomally normal embryo is pretty low, I still thought that I would get pregnant on this cycle.  Amazing how irrational hope is.  Don't even bother crying any more. Just angry.  Pretty much all the time.  Except at B.

- Try again in November (yeah, why take a break when I am careening into another birthday?).  10 eggs only 6 mature, but 5 fertilize.  But at 3 days they are only 8, 5, 4, 4 cells (and one at 2 that doesn't even count).  Thinking that they maybe triggered me a day too soon this go round, but I had a large discrepancy in follicle size for the first time, so who really knows any more.  Transfer was yesterday.  Feel pretty much like this is a loss already, since it's pretty unlikely that 5 or 4 celled embryos will become a baby.  So just annoyed, and sad, and would very much like a drink.  Right now, thanks very much.  But instead I will probably eat an organic cheese stick, since that's what's in the house right now and I don't really feel that I should poison these embryos.  At least not on the first day of the wait.

In other news, B is a real delight.  He makes jokes, speaks in sentences, and has started singing ALL the time.  Nothing better than waking up to the sound of him singing in his crib.  Makes the rest of this sh*t completely worthwhile.  He had a lovely halloween and we hosted a very nice thanksgiving with our families, and we are now trying to find 8 small presents for the upcoming hanukah marathon.  He informed me he wanted a piano. A big piano. In his room. And he wants a french horn.  And a tuba.  We will see about that.

Here's a photo, just so that you can feel confident that he is not as crabby as his mother is.  This was the afternoon after our first trip to the ER -- he fell over in his stroller (he was standing up, against strict instructions, before I buckled him in, and then tried to jump.  Bad idea.) and got a big ol' gash and large lump over his right eye, and then was very sleepy, so we took him in just to be sure he hadn't done too much damage. He was fine, and it was probably good to go to the ER when it wasn't a real crisis.  But it did make hard to get a good photo for the holiday card the next day when we went out to the pumpkin patch, as pretty much every shot showed either the gash or his black eye. But aside from the minor crisis detailed above, he is just better than I could hope for.


  1. I've been thinking of you a lot.

    Please email me if you ever want to "chat"...gwinne (at) yahoo

  2. And also, oh my goodness that boy is CUTE!

  3. I am so sorry, and so sad to hear you back in the throws of IF world. It is a horrible place to be. I constantly work through a mantra about only wanting one child, as I deeply fear that horrible feeling of anger & failure... I admire your strength. You are amazing.

    And so is that little boy. Sentences? For real? He must be on the genius end of language. M is right on average for language, or at least seems that way compared with all the other kids in her school. But her sentences are along the lines of "Maddy have it?" And "mama sit down". The word "tuba"? Uh, nope. That is absolutely amazing.

  4. I agree with inBetween-- he's amazing, language-wise. And handsome too!

    I'm sorry you're not pregnant yet, but glad that you didn't give up. I am right there with you on the whole "I am a complete failure in every aspect of life" facet of IF. Ugh.

  5. Reading this breaks my heart. You have done a full marathon in IVF. My hope is great for this cycle and for that beautiful boy to get a sibling that you wish for. Your sweet boy is adorable! Thank you forvsharing.

  6. SO very happy to see you here and so very sorry about everything in the past months. holy shit, that is a LOT to deal with, go through, imagine.

    I am so grateful for hope, so I will not be knocking it. Without it I would not have Della.

    As for you, extra points for tenacity I think. I also did acupuncture which, while not fun in any way, made me feel as if I somehow was taking more action. Not sure if it just helped me pass time, or if it helped, but either way, there you go. best of luck with this two week wait, and hope, this time, the outcome surprises you in the very best way.

  7. I did a double take. B looks like such a grown up little boy now (and i didn't notice the bruise until you pointed it out:). I'm sorry for the rough time in the past few months. It's hard not to internalize it, to see it as a failure - as you say - though, obviously, there's nothing farther from the truth. (Though, it iS a huge fu@king disappointment).

  8. Glad to read your update--been wondering how you were doing, wish the news was better. You are stronger than I when it comes to IF, I'm opting out and enjoying my lone miracle. What a handsome grown-up boy yours is!

  9. That boy of yours looks so joyful that I am going to come right out and call you flat wrong in your suggestion that he might prefer any other mom on earth besides the fabulous one he's got. You are clearly doing it right. And while I dearly, dearly hope you get another, I am here to tell you that being an only child is not a bad gig.

    Thanks to our small apartment, I can also report that a full-keyboard piano in the baby's room is kind of amazingly awesome. ;)

    I am crossing everything I've got for your little embryos that could.

  10. Glad to hear from you! And DAMN that is a cute kid you've got there :).

  11. God, what a lot of heartache. I'm really really really sorry about all of it. It's also a testament to how brave you are, the sheer number of times you've gotten up off the mat and faced all this crap again. It might feel like it would take a miracle to get pregnant again, but hey, miracles happen, and I'm rooting for you.

    B is so incredibly beautiful, and sounds like such a delight. Get the grand piano, man. I'm sure it's not just a passing fancy...