Thursday, December 24, 2009

it's been 14 days since my last confession

What do you want to know?
We are in snowy KCMO visiting relatives.

Yesterday we had breakfast with a lovely fellow IFer and her husband  which was absolutely delightful. Great to have lots of things to talk about and so much in common as well as IF. Good luck, Kim  - with your January cycle and BFP! I'm rooting for you!!! Can't wait to come back soon  and see you and your babies running around the farm! I hope ours will be running around with them!

To tell you the truth,  it was almost a relief to have  some kind of end to the months of  waiting to do this whole donor egg thing. The decision, the surgery, the two donors canceled  and then finally the perfect donor and the perfect embryo and the perfect lining and then a big fat nothing. It wasn't the end we were hoping for but it was a punctuation mark that signaled something finite; that we could stop, take a breath and just pause for a while. The long long first donor egg cycle was over.

And what starts again is the glimmering of hope and promise that keeps all us IFers going again and again and again. For me the odds are still good; the doctor thinks that there is no reason I should not get pregnant this time around.  ( I bet you've all heard that one before!) He was supportive of the decision to transfer one embryo the first time, and now says that this time around he would add more estrogen suppositories ( mm mm good!) and transfer two frosties. He went over the quality  of the remaining 7 embryos and nearly all of them are really good. For lucky me it seems that even though this kind of hope borders on a  kind of  addiction that so  many of us succumb to, at this point is does not seem to be leading down the path of total dependency. Yet. But not because I am better or smarter, just because I got the good odds for now.

I've been reading some of your blogs where some of you, my dear blog friends, have been contemplating the end of this leg of the  journey, the end of  squinting at the elusive light at the end of the tunnel, the end of the hardship that we inflict on our bodies and our minds that we put ourselves through all in the hopes of the elusive good outcome, to be the one exception to the rule. It is an excruciating place to be; it is palpable from reading your blogs. There  also seems to be some hint of  freedom in this decision, of escape from the joy  of being lifted up in the waves and the torture of being  dashed onto the rocks. I don't want to oversimplify it - or sugar coat it - but I do want to honor those of us who are making these decisions, and to say, I am with you; I am standing beside you; I am here.

I want to say congratulations to EB who has a long awaited BFP!  Glamcookie, on the birth of her beautiful son, Shane, a big woo-hoo to Heather, who was the one who helped me decide to transfer one embie ( as she did herself) and who is now expecting twins!!! Journey Girl for her recent trip to Thailand on her donor egg journey which culminated in a fantastic Christmas Present, and after a mega productive  cycle that had us all on the edge of our seats Noodle girl   who is now in the one week wait.  Sending so much love to a little turtle  who after an interminable wait, is still needing  to see a  zero on her HcG test  after her miscarriage. And  to all of us  trudging through the trenches of IF,  I wish us something better;  peace, transcendance, acceptance, BFPs, an end to tabloid journalism about IF ( that's for you, Stephanie!) universal health-care, mandatory coverage for IF and world peace. Yeah, Santa, if you're listening, that's what's on my list!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

tails I lose...update at bottom:(

The odds were fifty fifty - like flipping a coin.
Except that it was a lot harder to do than that.
I took an Early Pregnancy Test tonight at 10pm after I had been putting it off all night and it was clearly BFN from almost the start of reading it.
S held my hand and we both squinted at it, but the second line did not appear.
I haven't been feeling anything different except for a small moment of gagginess yesterday morning.
I wasn't convinced but  I was hoping for a surprise.
So that's what happened to the perfect embryo and the happy uterus.
I have to go take the blood test tomorrow at 8.30 in the fricking freezing morning.
Then they will call me at work with my results.
Which I already know.

Update: The nurse called. The test was negative. I have a consult  next Thursday with my doctor to talk about a frozen embryo cycle in January. I am stopping my meds and waiting for AF and then will start the dreaded BCPs then.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A flash of light!

The transfer went really well. The doctor (not my tanned old guy doc, but a cheerful and very clever woman doc who comes  highly recommended) was very nice and chatty and  informative. She told us all about our embryos and how they were rated.  She said they were beautiful and spectacular and amazing.

Here is where it got complicated. 
Up until last night I was dead set on transfering  two embryos, but then I started thinking about something that Heather  from team oclark wrote in the comments of my last post about how with high quality embryos your chances of twins go up significantly if you transfer two. I did some googling and got numbers of between 30 - 36% of twins. We agonized about it last night and decided to sleep on it. We talked about wanting to give our child a good start in life after all the work we have done to get here. This is no judgment on anyone else's decision - this is purely about our situation. Susan is working full time and going to school part time and we are going to need help anyway, with one baby, but the thought of having two to take care of and two of everything to pay for and two little ones running around our tiny place,  was scaring the bejesus out of me.  We have a nice, small condo which we can't sell because of the market and we are thinking that once Susan finishes school ( 2 years) we will perhaps be in a better situation to move.  I know people say: all you need is love, or " I was brought up in a box car and I'm okay" -(yes I really know someone who was! ) Also  I am a twin and I know about wanting attention and wanting to be noticed and special and not always getting it -  no judgments on anyone  here. I felt like we were gambling by putting two back because we didn't want twins,  but we wanted to mitigate the chances of getting a BFN and if we got twins we would "deal with it". I also feel that I know my limits and I really didn't want to gamble with my physical or mental  health or the babies' health. I know that many IFers have twins, so please don't think I am making a universal pronouncement, because I am not,  but  I have to think what's right for me. People always say - oh, you'll manage - you'll find a way, but this is our way and this is how we got here. It was hard and I know that having a baby is not going to be harder.  I know that when people hear there is a possibility of having twins they think that you must have hit the jackpot. I know many women who are IFers who have  healthy twins and were healthy themselves  throughout the pregnancy- I even know one  blogger who is about 28  weeks pregnant with twins and walked about 3 miles in an afternoon the other day! ( you go, Puffer!)  My own mother had a very easy pregnancy and was so small some people did not even know she was pregnant. We arrived one day before our due date and at good weights. But just as I try not to reassure myself with those stories of the people who were the exception to the rule ( i.e. you know the one about the woman who was fifty and had triplets all by herself and her husband only had to look at her to get her pregnant!) I try not to compare myself to others who are not me and have not lived my experience. And I haven't lived theirs.

I saw a woman trailing four kids to school this morning while I was walking the dogs and I thought - well if she can have four, surely I can have two! But really I'm not her - I'm me and we are very different. Maybe you are thinking - gosh  - that Tireegal has always got something to grumble  and complain about. I am extremely grateful for all that I have which I worked extremely hard  for. I guess I just feel the need to share the ramblings of my poor tortured brain over the last twenty four hours and am glad that we made the decision that we did.  I kept asking S to make the decision and she said, no you should because you are the one carrying and she would say;"go with your gut." And I would say, "I don't have a gut!!! I don't even know where it is!"

The bottom line is: when the doctor told us that our chances of a BFP were only increased 10% by transferring two and that our chance of twins was about 50% I really thought that I could not take that gamble. We have at least four other embryos to freeze - and the two that were in question were both 1AB quality which is practically perfect - so we were looking at transfering two rock star embryos and "hoping" that one didn't take, which didn't seem right, somehow. The clinic's freeze success rate is 98%  - which is comforting to know.

Would we have transferred two embryos if we were well off, I didn't have to work, and we had  a nice house in the burbs with a big yard and lots of bedrooms - maybe. But that's not where we are. A nice house in town might be nice though!

When  I went out of the procedure room to half empty my bladder ( for the first of two times- apparently my kidneys work so well that they fill up my bladder super fast - I had been instructed to drink a whole bottle of water while sitting in the waiting room ) S told the nurse we had made our decision ( they gave us some time to talk it over). I wasn't there when she told the doctor, but S said that the doctor looked relieved and pleased that we had chosen to transfer one. She cited the risks to my health and the baby's as I am older ( yes, I know, that's what doctors do! ) and said she thought we had made a good decision.

Even though I am concerned that we have lowered our odds, I am comforted by knowing we made the decision that was right for us, even though it was difficult, and that if this embryo does not snuggle in we have some other options and would only have to wait a month to try again with the frosties. At one point I did not think I could tolerate the thought of waiting another month to get pregnant, but if the choice is patience or overwhelm I think I will try the patience first. Of course there is still a 1% chance that the one embryo will fox us all and split into two - but I guess we just have to live with that.
On a more exciting  note, we have pictures of  the embryo  as it burst  out of the catheter and into my uterus in a tiny flash of light! If I can get S to scan it I will post it. It was an amazing sight!
So, apparently my attitude to decision-making regarding embryos is the same as my decision making regarding the rest of life: it's not going with my gut, its finding it and then going with it.

S just texted me from school to say that it's a full moon! Now if that ain't a good omen!
Testing is on Friday December 11th so I am officially in the ten day wait!
And you, dear kind bloggers, who cheer me on, even while you wait for AF or for  your HSG to go down or for sperm to cooperate, I really appreciate that we are all in this together and while I am in a sweet place today  I have so not been there too, and I am grateful for the strength and care which we all share.