Monday, November 26, 2007

fear of failing, dreams of flying

We talked to the doctor. In the end the decision is ours; do we use our four remaining frozen embryos, or do we start anew? Chris and I decided to try a "fresh" cycle of IVF.

We are going ahead but I am scared. I am afraid that the fresh cycle won't work. When I tell someone this, I often hear "but it will work." It is grating to hear that right now. The odds are better with a fresh cycle than for a frozen one, but there is still no guarantee. I felt so sure last time, but I was wrong. I wish my friends saw that their expressions of unbridled optimism just makes me thing of our last, failed cycle. Sometimes things don't work.

Chris and I are extremely lucky to have the resources to make this choice at all. I don't know that we have the resources (emotional or financial) to do a fresh cycle more than once. If it doesn't work this time around, even if we get some "extra" frozen embryos out of the deal, what we'll have left is one or two more chances to try with frozen eggs. And I know how that turned out last time, even with six good quality eggs. I know that the likelihood of a given trial being successful is independent of what has happened before. I also know that IVF with frozen eggs is a lower probability event than using fresh eggs.

So yeah, the thing that scares me is that trying the tactic with the highest success rate, and having it fail. A couple with normal fertility (especially one our ages) is told to try for a year before worrying. We've passed all that, but I think about it as we head into our next round. Our odds may be higher than a random sex act for a random couple, but success may still rely on this being an iterative process.

Despite my fear of failure we are going forward. Not as fast as I'd like, in fact. Turns out that the lab is closed between christmas and new years. With the start of my cycle last week, that would have put me smack in the middle of the black-out week. So we sitting around for a month. Annoying. Nothing helps an anxious person relax like waiting around for an extra month.

Caution: Awkward Segue

Whatever else is going on (and I know this is a big jump of topics) you have to check out Jan Von Hollenben's series of photographs of children "flying". Taken from a latter above them, the pictures feature children in action poses that simulate flight and other impressive feats. I love these pictures so much. Just looking at them this morning made my day.


  1. i really have no idea what to say but i am thinking of you and hope you can wait it out without being too anxious. it is a really stressful thing- the procedures, thinking, planning, waiting. i would love to see you soon even though i won't know what to say then either.

  2. Good luck. It's a hard decision to make, to go forward. But you do what feels right to you. I hope it works. Enjoy the holidays, especially since you won't be in the middle of retrieval/transfer!!

  3. PS - those pictures are terrific!

  4. I'm always amazed at how they can freeze them' things...

    Those pictures are amazing. I'll have to try that someday.

  5. Promise me you'll get drunk every Friday of this month you wait and try the old fashioned way anyway. Because I'm pushy that way.

    Let's fly.

  6. I have done my very best up to this point to specifically *not* say anything annoyingly positive or hopeful-ish re: your future potential pregnancy status. because of exactly what you said. but if you wanna talk about it while I nod and listen, caring, compassionate, compassion enlivening my fingertips and hair-ends, I would do so. in a heartbeat. I owe you that much, at least, for the evening that you and Chris entertained me, the one where I felt like I might crawl up to the roof of my house, in the rain, and rock myself softly while humming a tuneless mess. only I didn't, because you were gracious and caring and thank you.