Thursday, April 15, 2010

Has anyone seen my gut?

My figural one, not my literal one, which seems to be growing by the month, despite the lack of a baby inside.

Your comments on the latest decision facing us were really helpful and gave us great food for thought.

A number of you suggested I access my gut instinct about what next step to take.

A really good piece of advice.

Except that my gut seems to be hard to access today.

Problem is, I think my gut is plumb worn out, as is the rest of me. I never, NEVER thought (nor did Will) that trying to have a baby would turn out to be such a difficult task, one that would strain us personally, professionally, financially spiritually, and as a couple.

This has been HARD, folks (I know you know that, but I think sometimes I minimize it to myself as a coping mechanism). So when I imagine cycling again, I just feel...exhausted. Incredibly strained, unclear as to how I would explain ANOTHER eight days out of state away from work for medical reasons (when Will and I are employed by one of the best medical centers in the country - so gosh, why would I go someplace else for care? Good question, boss, but can't answer it for you). And taking off another week from my master's degree may just be undoable until June because I've already missed a fair amount this semester.

Cycling again means taking out a loan this time, as we are completely out of financial reserves. And I guess it would mean taking out a loan against our personal reserves as well, because I think those are fairly low, too. (Hopefully, we still have some good personal and relationship equity to borrow against?)

On the other hand, it feels like the finish line is in sight, and if I can just - if WE can just - motivate ourselves to keep going just a little bit longer, we might actually have a family who is related to both of us. More certainty of having one glorious child. And if we're lucky, maybe more than one child (which yes, we had always originally planned - 2 or 3). Gosh, we'd be thrilled with one, but a sibling would be fantastic (don't know how I'd survive without mine).

So I keep trying to project out two or three years from now when this is all over. When I know it won't seem as bad as it does now. And when I do that, I think, OF COURSE we should cycle again. The suffering, the financial and emotional strain, are temporary. The potential result? Permanent.

Taking the cycling again route, we could also end up with nothing, except more heartache. These three blasts may or may not take; we could also cycle again and get no normal blasts. It's all a gamble. It's always a gamble. And given how things have gone with the last 85 eggs that were retrieved (and sadly, that's no exaggeration), it's easy to imagine the negative outcome. I can envision the positive outcome, too. But we just don't bank on it anymore.

Dr. Schl. wants me to take two months of lupron before transferring, because I have stage III endo and some other lining abnormalities. So even if we just wanted to transfer, it won't happen for a while.

All these thoughts rattling around in my head.

Now if I could only find my gut...I know it's around here somewhere!


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  1. Email me if you ever want to chat...having been in a semi-similar situation. Of course, we decided not to cycle again...personally I couldn't do it again...but we never even made a blast out of 81 eggs retrieved (isn't it crazy to have such high numbers of eggs retrieved??). It IS hard to access your gut instinct sometimes, but I really do believe it's always there, it is just sometimes hard to hear it or even more, to believe it.

    I wish I could give you the answers. I wish any of us had a crystal ball to tell you whether or not it will be worth it...because believe me, I understand the emotional drain of repeated cycling out of state, as we did two at CCRM.

    Thinking of you and hoping for peace and clarity for you.

  2. it's hard, real hard, especially when the gut has checked out - so I know this sounds nutz but - maybe just take a breather (whether it be a week or a month) and just stop it all (no blogging, no reading of blogs, no thinking of babies) just hang out with the husband and the pup and maybe your gut will come back (perhaps she needs a break too?). Of course, this is assvice and you can toss it out too.

  3. I've got no advice, just wish this didn't have to be so hard. Thinking of you, and hoping you find a bit of clarity to cling to.

    Let's definitely get to the Grocery when you're back & rested. These are the perfect nights for eating in the garden...

  4. I have been lurking for months. I needed to follow someone's story who was (gulp) worse than mine. I am an infertile ob (probably around 100 eggs and no baby). Here is my advice which you may completely ignore. Grab some eggs from your sister and never look back.

  5. It pains me for you to read this. I totally get just being worn out from the process, and so much so that it is hard to find your instinct.

    Given how financially taxing (no pun, on this day especially) this has been and will be, and while I know this is hard to consider, think about whether you will then have funds to pursue another way of building your family if your fresh cycle isn't successful

    Even though this is such an emotionally wrought decision, try to tap into your pragmatism. As long as you feel like you'd still have financial options to pursue another path if need be, then by all means do so.

  6. I've got nothing helpful to suggest, except maybe time away from thinking baby thoughts (yeah -- like that's possible?) will kind of just lead you to your answer. I'm sorry this is so hard, and wish you all the luck in the world with your decision

  7. I'm so sorry this has been so hard on you, Will, your finances etc. It just sucks from start to finish...but where is the finish? We just don't know. I have no advice for you but my thoughts are with you and I hope that you can find an answer that brings you some clarity of what you should do next.

  8. Maybe the two month wait imposed by Dr is a good time for you and Will to step away from all this? Give yourselves a much needed breather from this ongoing treadmill run...The weather is just starting to get good- take the time to enjoy it and each other~maybe you will get some much needed perspective on just where the finish line is??
    Thinking of you and wishing you peace, no matter what you decide!

  9. I can't even imagine how exhausted you must feel. You and your husband certainly have stamina. It will be so worth it in the end. Hang in there!!

  10. I'm just sending support support support. I think everyone has given you great food for thought.

  11. Ok, I'll try some thoughts just to give you thinking juice. When Mrs IVF and I were in your shoes crossing the "we can make normal embryos" hurdle was a huge step and motivated us enormously. We probably would have cycled again if we hadn't been as lucky as we were. Mrs IVF was big for watching the clock. "Stim now while the eggs are good, they will only get worse" was her line even though its a slog to go again. If you do go the trf route now, remember, while our path hasnt been anywhere as near as rough as yours and we saw success all around us you could be very close to pregnancy and if you do get pregnant this time you are a year further down the egg mine looking for that sibling (ok - I know kiddie #1 is the goal, but its a secondary consideration to think through I guess). Just random thoughts, that I hope help. In the end two tricks I have tried to live by (1) don't transfer more embryos that you have arms to carry them one day and (2) do what you will reget least if you will be coming back and thinking over your decisions late in life. Some blunt thoughts, but I hope they help and dont offend.

  12. It is absolutley SO frustrating how we have to tie and untie ourselves into/out of flexible pretzles in order to have a chance at being parents. I know how difficult and dizzying all of this madness is. It makes us all wish for easier days, easier decisions, choices, options, etc.
    I am thinking about you and hope you and your gut find clarity.

  13. OMG - two MONTHS of lupron! Holy cow. Is Will preparing, perhaps buying a condo to live in while you rage around? Just kidding, but your poor little body is taking a beating. I'd wait one month. One month from today, you then will be in the window for your degree (after the lupron) if you're ready then. But one month will let you sit with things.

    OTOH, I totally get the wanting to move ahead! So if you're ready, you'll not be able to sit with waiting a month. Good luck, and I hope you find clarity.

  14. Mo -- I wish infertility wasn't so damn exhausting. It's a marathon. Make that an ultra marathon -- and I don't even like to do 5ks.

    Hang in there. Lean on each other. If you can, do take a few days to step back and enjoy spring. There are no rights and wrongs in this process. Just steps. When we got to a point of feeling exhausted (especially wondering almost a year after our initial consult at CCRM if we would ever actually make it past the finish line for a transfer, and being laid off right after the decision to cycle out of state) I drew a lot of strength from the other CCRMers out there. So many of their journeys are just down right miraculous.

  15. It's so hard. For me the financial aspect of taking out a loan would probably kill it for me. We could afford three IVF cycles with our savings. So after two dismal failures on actually finding mature eggs once I had stimmed, I took my last IVF cycle to donor eggs. If you still have the finances to do another one beyond this, then it's another story. So much of it depends on what you feel -- hence the problem with the gut! I know you've mentioned using your sisters' eggs although you didn't really sound ready to go there. I can tell you that I have absolutely no regrets about using DE. I love me and my genes, but I'm more excited to share my life with my child.

  16. Others have raised good points about needing funding for plan ... what letter are we up to, now? Well, you know what I mean. Of course, various plan-Bs are less time-sensitive than own-egg and would wait, perhaps patiently, while you mustered your resources.

    The only other thing I know to add is that when my gut goes missing (always figuratively, never literally, sigh), I toss a coin and force myself to "as if" abide by it for 24 hours. Somehow that forces my gut to resurface, either happy (coin made the right decision) or sad (not so much).

    As always, you know I wish you peace and good luck, not necessarily in that order.

  17. No advice here- just a huge "I hear you." It is amazing how mentally and emotionally exhausting this is and how thoroughly the inner compass stops pointing anywhere by now, isn't it?

    Sending you clarity vibes- and always hope.

  18. Dear Mo:

    I agree with Anonymous. At the end, a healthy baby matters the most.

    Take care.

  19. Two months of lupron!! FUCK!

    Oh, Mo! I can "hear" in your writing how battered you're feeling from all this. I have no answers, but I would be happy to buy you a very strong drink and listen. Just let me know when.

  20. My ass-vice... Consider these questions and your honest answers: Is it more important to have a baby or have a baby with a genetic connection? Do you have the emotional and financial resources to go through another cycle with your own eggs, multiple FETs, and a DE cycle if things don't work out with your eggs? I've found that you can try to plan, but you never know exactly what you will do until you get there. A lot of processing about what's really important to you goes on inbetween. I think it's ok to be honest about the emotional toll IVF has taken on you and Will and go straight for the route to the best possible chance of building your family rather than torturing yourselves with more treatment. CCRM are not miracle workers, but yeah, transfer those 7 day embies. You just never know. IVF is not an exact science. They don't call it ART for nothing.

    One more bit of ass-vice: if you do decide to cycle again, it seems that CCRM takes one cycle to really get to know you. Your chances are better on your next cycle with them, I believe, but again, don't expect a miracle.


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