Thursday, April 8, 2010

A little less broken

One of the things that Will and I have discussed as this infertility situation has gone from a seemingly minor problem to a saga of epic proportions is what it feels like emotionally to have not been able to have our own children.

Despite being educated and reasonable people, neither one of us can completely shake the irrational idea that we are somehow defective.

Other people have sex and accidentally get pregnant and have a baby.

Or they time intercourse and get pregnant and have a baby.

Or failing that, they do IUI and get pregnant and have a baby.

Or in the most difficult circumstances, do IVF - maybe two or three times - and have a baby.

But we've done all those things (except for IUI). Multiple times. We've even been pregnant five times.

But no live baby.

We have laughed sadly that we are "doubly defective." Not only have we not succeeded in the normal way, but in addition, all the intervention in the world has so far been unable to help us have the one thing we want most: a family.

As one IVF failure after another has unfolded, as baby after baby has died and so many have turned out to be chromosomally abnormal, we had begun to doubt that we could make an embryo with the proper ingredients to be a living baby, with all the chromosomes aligned on their spindles, the cells from me and Will touching in the right places to create a heart-beating, breathing child.

We have felt that we are broken, as individuals. Broken as a couple.

It means a lot, even if none of the three blastocysts results in a live baby.

After everything we have been through the past few years, we have begun to accept that we are no longer whole. We are no longer the couple we used to be.

But finding out we can create normal embryos makes us feel a little less broken. Before we move on to any next steps, to the hope of a pregnancy, we both want to honor this moment.

Because this, just where we are at right now, is something we are enormously grateful for.


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  1. Mo.

    You know I get this.

    Although we've never been pregnant save for a chemical pregnancy, failing five IVFs has left us feeling broken and defective and presumably we cannot make a genetically normal blast.

    So I get it.

    And I get while it would be so huge to know that you have, in fact, succeeded in this area where you weren't sure you could. When we saw a second line I felt success like I never knew possible--even if it meant I was achieving something the masses do all the time without any big fanfare.

    Anyway, just saying hi and once again, that I sort of get it. I'm glad you haven't given up like we did.

  2. I HEAR you.

    I remember when I was told that i will never be pregnant - feeling so angry that people did IVF and got pregnant - and feeling well so so so outside the relam of everything, so isolated, if that makes sense.
    I am so glad for your little ones!

  3. Reading about your microarray results yesterday just made me happy in a "everything might be right with the world after all" kind of way. I know there are still many bridges to cross, but I'm taking this as a wonderful sign of more good news to come for you and Will.

    It's great to read you are both able to savor this moment of "little less broken"ness.

    Thank you for the visit to my blog and the sweet comment. I so appreciate you stopping by.

  4. What a beautiful thing to honor!


  5. Well put. Just know you aren't the only overeducated yet broken one out there and even if we are different... in some ways we come out better. Better for the people we've met on this journey and better because we are stronger.

  6. What you're describing makes perfect sense to me. Also I only just learned the good news about the microarray -- many congratulations. (It's fascinating to see how the usual "markers" of embryo health (visible development, etc.) had absolutely nothing to do with the reality of these blasts' status, and something I take as an indicator that it's really reproductive science that, if not broken, is at least still in very annoyingly rudimentary stages).

  7. Mo, this post really moved me. It is so important that we stop and acknowledge the things that we are grateful for while struggling through IF. On Tuesday, after another failed cycle, I had a similar moment of being grateful for my wonderful DH and how supportive he is of me and of our fight and struggle through IF. I sometimes think that my husband and I will eventually be better parents for having had the struggles we have and feel that someday, although not right now, we will both be grateful for everything we had to endure to get there. I'm glad you and Will don't feel "broken" anymore :)

  8. Absolutely. In the process, I think you get to celebrate the good things. This, this is definitely one of those things.

  9. I am sitting here, CRYING, because I soooo get you and Will - there is a part of me that STILL feels broken (well, technically it still is).

    today my boss suggested that I "might be pregnant" when I said I'm STARVING and feel like I might faint if I don't eat NOW.

    I said, "no, I haven't spent R100 000 on IVFs that I know of" :)

    Okay, it's not a joke but that's how I deal with it.

    big hugs to you!

  10. This one made me a little teary, too. I can relate to that feeling of being broken and still struggle with the idea that my body failed me...failed us (for many reasons).

    I am so glad you are honoring this success. I am wishing you many more successes in the months to come. Hugs!

  11. I could really relate to this line,

    "After everything we have been through the past few years, we have begun to accept that we are no longer whole. We are no longer the couple we used to be. "

    In the little good that is dealt to us as subfertiles, honor the good we find. At least it teaches us to be grateful for the tiniest of things.

    Best wishes-

  12. I am so happy for ya'll and hope that this time is it!! Praying daily!!

  13. I completely understand where you are coming from. It is important to honour these moments. Knowing that you and Will can create genetically perfect embryos is a wonderful achievement. I am sure it must bring you a sense of peace.

  14. So beautifully said. Thanks for taking us on your journey with you!

  15. Results like these are like man walking on the moon... it's other-worldly and magnificent! I am very, very happy with you and I too, "get it...."

  16. I've mostly been a lurker, but just wanted to say that I am following you all along this path. Thanks for sharing- and being will to blog with openness and integrity. So much of what you share resonates with me in such a meaningful way.

  17. Mo and Will - I stumbled into your blog late night on Wednesday, and was met with such a wonderful (and sometimes sad and more times than not, loving) story. I can't believe what CCRM did for you! It's so exciting and I just KNOW this will work.
    I live in Denver and am a patient at CCRM. I go to the central Denver office (I'm a single 41-year-old trying to get knocked up). Anyway, on my way out today I couldn't stop chatting and I told the adorable front desk young gals your story and they were just thrilled!

    CCRM is a special place. I see Dr. M there and she is the first doctor who has ever hugged me (and I needed it)

    Anyway, Will and Mo - you aren't broken. I can see a big huge heart just from the glow of your blog!

  18. Mo,

    You are an amazing, brave woman. Thank you for sharing. It let's me know I'm not alone. You are in my thoughts.

  19. Mo--
    I get it too. IF takes so much away from us. I sincerely hope that one of those little embryos becomes a take home baby. But for now, they're perfect.

  20. I have been MIA for a long time, but I was so happy to see this update on your results. Think of you both often!

  21. YOu're certainly not alone in feeling like you're broken as and individual or a couple. I never thought we'd survive infertility. It was probably the hardest thing we've had to endure, and we've been through a lot. DH is a 9/11 First Responder, the illnesses of all 4 of our parents, the death of my father, financial troubles. Infertility, hands down, broke us into a million pieces.

  22. Just catching up on my blog reading after wallowing for a bit -- and wanted to say - great news about the microarray results. Hope you got outside today as well - weather in NY was beautiful.

  23. Congrats on the great news. I understand the feeling of being broken, in more ways than one. Isn't it sad that we define ourselves by our ability (or not) to procreate? My one great loss is that I can not get pregnant the normal way. I hope these normal embryos lead to a RLB.


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