Monday, February 6, 2012

Regret management is expensive

Despite the ongoing silence, we are continuing to prepare for the frozen embryo transfer in Denver this Thursday - I'm in the midst of a whirlwind of preparations:
  • Two months of Depot Lupron to quiet endometriosis and improve endometrial receptivity? Check
  • Consult with reproductive psychiatrist (double boarded in OB/GYN and psychiatry) after crazy mood downturn on Depot Lupron? Check
  • Eliminate all caffeine, decaffeinated products, alcohol, and chocolate since New Years? Check
  • Start boatload of multivitamins, vitamin D, folate at New Years? Check
  • Endometrial biopsy to improve growth factors in endometrium lining last month? Check
  • Electro-acupuncture twice a week for past month to improve uterine blood flow? Check
  • Lining checks and hormone bloodwork? Check
  • Consult with reproductive immunologist to discuss immunological plan for this transfer? Check
  • ...leading to prednisone on board past two weeks? Check
  • Baby aspirin? Check
  • Four hour infusion of IVIG last week to quiet NK cell activity? Check
  • Lovenox syringes ready to go? Check
  • Denver anti-miscarriage protocol of Pepcid and Claritin ready to begin? Check

So all systems are go from a practical standpoint. I'm still feeling pretty checked out emotionally. All these steps have become entirely disconnected from the possibility of actually having a real live baby. Hence, partially, the lack of posting. If I post, I have to acknowledge we are actually doing this...and I *know* we are, but it still feels very abstract in many ways.

We've really pulled out all the stops for this transfer, doing all the things we usually do, plus doing IVIG for the first time ever. And strangely, pulling out all the stops is not about thinking it will actually make a difference, because that is just too hard for me to fathom. All of these steps are in place mainly for regret management. I don't want to look back later (quiet thought after this has failed) thinking that if only I had done X, Y, or Z, we would have succeeded. I am trying to be thoughtful in that way to make sure we don't accumulate any extra suffering on top of how unpleasant this whole endeavor already inherently is.

But seriously, folks, regret management is expensive. Both monetarily and otherwise - the IVIG in particular. The treatment took four hours of my life, and a ridiculous sum of money. Add to that that the night of and the next day, I had a horrendous headache and chest pain. The doctor had mentioned headache could be a potential side effect but would be less likely to happen if I drank a lot of water. And so I drank a ton - liters and liters. This headache I had post IVIG treatment? It redefined headache for me. I kept thinking, well now I understand the term "splitting" headache. I felt as though my head might actually burst open. It was terrible. Didn't help that I couldn't take any time off and in fact had to speak for two and a half hours at a workshop the day after. Ugh. Fortunately, by two days out, I was feeling significantly better. I hope that treatment served some purpose in addition to its regret management function, but either way, it is behind us now.

So we are close to take off...hard to believe, and yet here we are.

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and encouragement. Even though I've been quiet over here of late, it has meant the world to us.

Mo (and Will)

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  1. All I can say is wow. whether or not this works (and fingers and other appendages all crossed that it does!!!!), you *know* you did absolutely everything you could. And I totally agree that regret management is worth it.

  2. So glad to hear from you, and YES to regret management (not that it'll be necessary, because, you know, little Miss Sunshine over here says THIS IS THE ONE!) yes to anything that helps keep panicky feelings at bay, though I'm sorry the IVIG sucked so hard. Also sorry (though not at all surprised) that you're feeling emotionally unavailable throughout this. Be a little surprised if you were super-duper excited to tell you the truth.

    And you know how much I'm pulling for you on this one, yes? Everything crossed, my dear. Crossed & thought about and if I leaned that way, prayed for.

  3. Oh, I hear you on the regret management. It's also why I did steroids, your shared pepcid/claritin combo, and transferred two, against the advice of my RE. And I'm still surprised that the cycle worked at 12 weeks postpartum...

    I am pulling for you. Not the praying type, but you are in my thoughts. This has GOT to be the one...

  4. Wishing you all the luck in the world right now. Please let this be The One!

  5. Prayers and everything crossed for you. This IF road is so hard and truly it sucks.

    Thinking of you always

    Safe travels to Denver.

    Let this be the one.

  6. Thanks for the update. Sounds like you've got all your bases covered. I think you definitely made the right decision to go on and transfer your own good quality embryos. I am really praying that this is it for you and Will! Safe travels to Denver and back.

  7. I always huged to say that all my infertility treatment was hedging my bets against future regrets...and boy you are doing the same! I hope hope hope it all works for you but you will know you have done every last possible thing (I'm very excited about the endometrial biopsy, as I think the research in that is more solid than a lot of things they recommend).
    Best of luck to you and Will!

  8. Glad for the update, and you truly are doing all that you can at this point. And being a bit distanced from Thursday, well, that just seems protective to me at this point. I am really hoping for the best for you both. And safe travels.

  9. Wishing you nothing but luck!

  10. mo,
    how many embryos are you thinking of transferring? i don't know if you already mentioned it, and i have forgotten how many normals you have remaining in colorado.

    what you are doing, that list, it just sounds so concise, so, well, either it will work, which, i mean, with everything you are doing, how could it not?- but if it does not- you really can walk away with no regrets. and you will be walking away from all the negative things you are experiencing, forever... and walking toward your already-laid-out donor and/or surrogate plans. you are in a great place, and i know that it had probably depleted you to the point where none of it really matters because of the emotional toll this has taken on you... but i just know that with all the effort and planning you have done, and your sheer will to continue on and become a parent, that it will happen- don't know exactly how or when, but i do know from my own ridiculous history that when you do get to that point, poopy diapers do a lot to act as a healing salve to all of the emotional damage you have taken to be a parent. its going to happen, mo, just go thru the steps now and see what unfolds. so many people are holding you in their minds and hearts. you are not alone, remember that! and you will survive it, no matter what.

  11. I can completely relate to the "regret management" but am hoping deeply that your results completely blow your expectations out of the water.

  12. Best of luck on Thursday. Will be thinking of you...

  13. I'm glad to see your post - I've been wondering how you're doing. What you said about "pulling out all the stops is not about thinking it will actually make a difference..." is exactly how I felt about our current cycle. Crossing my fingers that yours has the same outcome.

    With regard to the IVIg, in case you wind up having to do it again (thinking positively for you) - did they have you take Benadryl and Tylenol about an hour beforehand? Since you said it took 4 hours, I'm assuming they used the slowest drip rate possible? Did they increase the drip rate as you went along? If no on the first question, ask them about that, especially the Tylenol. And if they didn't use the slowest drip rate the whole way through, ask them to consider doing that.

    I'm pretty prone to headaches, so I thought for sure I'd get them, but I've done 3 IVIgs now and didn't have a problem with any of them. The nurse had me take the Benadryl and Tylenol before each one, and then she kept the drip rate really slow for the first one. Since I didn't have any issues with that, the next two times she sped it up a little bit through the course of the infusion, but she still started it at the lowest rate for the first half hour or so.

    I hope you have a great trip to Denver, and a great transfer!

  14. Holy cow Mo, that is quite a list! No wonder you've been quiet, you didn't have any time between treatments to post! Regret management seems to be the name of the game with IVF, as I am learning. And you've certainly put yourself in the best position to succeed as you possibly can. I know it's probably impossible and/or not even desirable to have hope for this transfer. But perhaps you'll let us all hope for you - I know I am!

  15. I think that once you get to this point, where you feel as if you are doing IVF for IVF's sake, (even my DE/DS cycle was in this camp), if an actual baby results, its oddly hard to really get into it. I often wonder what kind of mother I would be or would have been with out all the trauma.
    I hope hope hope that this is more than just a super ego appeasement cycle. You REALLY need a win my dear. ((((HUGS))))

  16. Ouch! As someone who gets migraines, and got the worst skull splitting headache ever from a migraine med, I'm sorry you had to endure such a horrid headache. And work through it. Been there. Awful.

    Trying too think what to say after reading this. Susan said it so well. Whatever gets you through, my friend. We're holding you in our hearts. Hoping so very hard for you. xoxo

  17. Thinking of you and sending good thoughts. That is all.
    And of course hopeful it works this time...

  18. I feel like a real lightweight complaining about a bit of a scratchy throat and flu symptoms when you've got all this going on!

    You are amazing - amazing to take all these steps in "regret management". Like Sprogblogger, I'm believing it won't be a regret....

    Hang in there - I'll be praying for you!

  19. Sending positive thoughts your way. Let this be the one!

    I prescribe IVIG a ton for my MS patients and if you get the headache, it seems to be the world is ending type of headache. Super crazy unpleasant. I can't believe you were 1) out of bed and 2) actually worked. Speaks volumes to your physical and emotional strength.

    If you can do that can do anything.

  20. Please God let this be the one.

  21. Sending positive thoughts and prayers!!

  22. sending all kinds of good, calming, regret-free vibes your way.

  23. You have done everything possible for this transfer, EVERYTHING and more. I wish this is it for you, you deserve this so much. Know that I am very hopeful for you and wishing you the best. xoxo

  24. Mo and Will...good. Glad to hear it...Pull out all the stops...not only have you gotten back on the horse, but you're riding it as hard as you can.

    I wish you every success, and the peace that will come with no regrets. Because that peace will be yours. No matter what happens.

    All the best.

    physician chick from the great white north...

  25. Sending you positive thoughts and virtual hugs!!

  26. We called the successful cycle that produced our son the "kitchen sink" cycle so I hear you on pulling out all the stops.

    We are unknowing and unlikely cycle buddies. I have what I hope will be my final lining check on Wednesday for my deSET.

    Here is hoping for an emotionally painless 2WW and success that sticks on the other end.

  27. Wow, if your immune system is not bitch-slapped into complete submission by that regimen, I'll eat my immunology textbook. If your immune system was in fact a culprit in the previous losses/infertility, I'd say, consider it dealt with. I'm sorry you had such a rough reaction to the IVIg.

    Interestingly- the role of vitamin D in the immune system is now looking bigger and bigger. I just read an interesting study (relevant to my own research) which shows that it can dampen inflammation by triggering the exact same pathway triggered by steroids, which are the most powerful anti-inflammatories ever.

    If you are clinically deficient in vitamin D, then that natural anti-inflammatory pathway would not be in effect, but if your blood levels are over 30 ng/ml, it starts working.

    As a cautionary though- try to maintain your blood levels of D3 at around 30 ng/ml, but not too much higher, because the one place it appears to have not a good effect is endometriosis :( But you've got the Depot Lupron to keep things under control there.

    Keeping fingers, toes and everything crossed for you- hope you go through all of this while being as detached and calm as possible. You've done everything you possibly can.

  28. My wishes and thoughts are with you and Will this week, too. Safe travels and a peaceful transfer to you!

  29. Sorry it's been a rough prep for this transfer. Rooting for you from this end and will be thinking of you throughout the resolution, whatever it may be.

  30. It sure sounds like you have covered all your bases. That is some serious checklist. I'll be thinking of you!

  31. Hope all goes well and the embies stick around for the long haul.
    What is the pepcid/claritin combo? I'd love to know for my upcoming FET.
    Did Denver give you any details on the endometrial biopsy and how it affects success rates? I had one before my IVF cycle, but I've asked twice about having one before the FET cycle and they say no. Might have to research on my own...
    Keep us posted as to how things go. Dust to you!

  32. So glad you posted. I've been thinking about you a lot, especially this week. I am holding hope that this is THE cycle...I don't think there is another couple more deserving of this being the cycle than you two.

    Many hugs.

  33. sending you so much love and luck....

  34. I just wanted to send love, and to say that regret management is my lifemantra... I don't always follow it as well as you are! But I totally get it. It is a phrase I have used often

    My last cycle was exactly that" regret management. I did not want to feel I should have done the one more. my situation was more simple (are any more complex?) than yours, of course, but still. I knew I had to try one more time or I would regret it always.

    Even now, I can't believe it worked. I wish on you THIS kind of fabulous disbelief. I'll be holding hope for you.


  35. You will have nothing to regret, as you have done everything possible (and some things that others would have characterized as impossible). I hope that this works for you, Mo and Will. I'm not the praying kind, but I wish upon plenty of stars and tonight's star has your name written all over it!

  36. OOOooh its gonna be crowded with us all up there on the table with you at transfer! I hope we don't get in trouble for talking from the doc. Hand signals. We need hand signals.

    When I go like this ****, it means BEST WISHES AND WELCOME HOME BABY MOWILL!

    Thinking of you all day long on Thursday....

  37. Gah! I get you on the regret management thing. I did my last FET not because I truly believed it would all work, but because we had done everything to get those frozen embryos and I didn't want to just not use them.

    Wishing you success and peace...

  38. second time commenting-
    this time i just want to wish you a safe trip, problem free FET, & comfortable bed rest.
    i can't help but to feel excited for you, for the possibilities of this FET.
    will be thinking of you, and will.
    me best to you!

  39. Mo - What can I say? You have moxie. Serious moxie you brave girl. Thinking good thoughts for you and Will this week. Chin up and get 'er done!!

  40. Regret managment. What a great way to put it. That's exactly what we do and holy cow are you prepared! Safe travels and best wishes for a successful cycle!

  41. Sending you every bit of luck!!

  42. Me again,
    I was just thinking that for my only IVF transfer that had pregnancy as the outcome, I had several things different than I had in other cycles:

    assisted hatching
    and a medication called Mestinon which I had never heard of

    sending love,

  43. Sending good thoughts your way...

  44. More good luck wishes to you! Hope that IVIG is the secret ingredient!

  45. Also thinking of you today. Hoping so hard that this is the one!

  46. Thinking about you and hoping that all is going well!

  47. Hi i’m Heather! I have a question for you! Please email me :)


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