Thursday, September 18, 2008

An Update, Mostly to Torture Myself

On Monday things did not look good.  The docs had me come in Tuesday, which confirmed the not-good-newsness.  Wednesday didn't improve the news, but at least it clarified my options.

Each time I do this, something new is goes poorly.  In January, my body struggled to overcome the ganirelix, and I endured a record breaking 17 day stimulation. (In general, the antagonist protocol is thought to be smoother, but not for me.)  In March my response was much better with the lupron, so good that I decided to have only two embryos implanted instead of three.  In retrospect it was the wrong choice, but then things could have turned out the same way with three. 

Now, after several months off, my body is not cooperating.  It looks like I will cough up three eggs, or at least I hope I will.  I had a long talk with my lead doctor today, and this ever optimistic man said that if I wanted to go forward with a retrieval with only 3 eggs, he would support it. (Normally they like to see 6 eggs for a retrieval.) So we are going forward, knowing:

  • the cycle could fail because the three eggs that look good on an ultrasound turn out to be not so great once they are outside my ovaries;
  • the cycle could fail because none of the eggs is successfully inseminated; or
  • the cycle could fail because not one of the embryos makes it the three days to 8 cell stage.
And, even if none of the above bad things happens, the cycle could fail because the embryos do not implant.  I know all about that; getting to the end with everything looking good, only to have it fall apart quietly and mysteriously during the two weeks between implantation and pregnancy test.

I know that there are so many things that could go wrong.  I assume something will go wrong.  Partially this is a rational assessment, but it is also self-protective. I need to help myself from having the hope that supports me just long enough to allow me to feel crushed by the negative blood test.

I am trying to hold on how I felt earlier this summer, when I knew it would be okay to have an only child. I am not a superstitious person, and I do not search my surroundings for signs or secret meanings. Despite this I can not help but notice that in the past few weeks I have reconnected with two old friends, both only children.  I have resisted the urge to ask them what it was like to grow up an only, what it is like now.  What that would tell me that would help me now, I don't know.  It is not important, I think. Rather than try to talk myself into why any outcome is going to be fine, I just need to get through the next few weeks. I can mourn when the time comes, but for now I just need to hold on. 

Tonight I took the medicine that will induce ovulation in 36 hours.

Tomorrow I do nothing. (Ok, not nothing, but after "don't blog about work" my second rule might be "don't blog about enemas".)

Friday morning I go to the doctor for the egg retrieval. I don't have much hope, but of course I have hope.  Otherwise I'd just walk away and wait for the doctors to refund me the money we paid up-front.
Wish me luck.  Just don't tell me you are sure it will work, please.


  1. I've decided that hope is evil. You don't want to have it because you know if you do you'll only be more upset later when something goes wrong and yet, it's always there. No matter how hard you try to push it away it hovers over you and it's tendrils invade your mind. Hope is what causes us to torture ourselves with IVF after IVF and yet, if it didn't exist we wouldn't even try and if you don't try it will never work. *sigh* Did you have your first child via IVF?

  2. Ah, yes. The self-torture musings. I a very familiar with this phenomenom. Thinking of you lots and wishing hard for you.

  3. Reading your posts is such an eye opener for me. I'll be thinking of you and wishing the universe gives you lots of luck.

  4. Wishing you the very best of luck. I really hope this is it for you.

  5. Rebecca - first child by IVF (the first try at it). Can't simultaneously hope and prepare for loss, but still I try.

  6. I'm more or less an only child, my brother having been born when I was 14, and having left the house only a few years later. I must say, I don't think it makes a great deal of difference, in the wash, though individual sibling relationships can be very rich. "“There have been hundreds and hundreds of research studies that show that only children are no different from their peers.”"

    I know people who can't stand their siblings, and people who are great close friends with them, and (many) people who are mostly indifferent. And I know generous, unselfish, empathetic only children and selfish, grasping, myopic ones. George W. Bush has four siblings. Obama has no full siblings and was raised as an only.

    For myself, I loved the full attention of my parents, and I love that they had the time to have full lives outside the family that they could model for me and include me in. As you know, I myself would be happy with an only, though that's under negotiation. It's not bad for a child. I never felt like anything was missing. And while there are certainly things I didn't get, being an only child (my family says we had "two only children" as my brother and I are effectively two generations apart), there were compensations in the things that I did.

    Um, not that you asked. But since you mentioned it. I don't expect that this will ameliorate your longing at all, but if you end up in a situation where you need to find a peaceful place about an only, perhaps it could help.

  7. Thanks Stute Fish, that is exactly what I needed right now.

  8. i'm not sure of anything except that time will pass and something will happen.

    the cruel mercy of life.

    may you be ready for it.

  9. Good luck. Sending all happy thoughts.

  10. It only takes one. It only takes one.

  11. Ack! Two different clinics I went to and neither one required an enema! Ack.

    Good luck. Oh and some baby dust too.

  12. In my experience expecting the worst never makes it any easier. Hence, the real good of hope, not absurd optimism, they're different.

    And, also, the only really bad thing about being an only child is not really learning how to take a tease, not a life-shattering problem.

    Love, hope, and prayers to you.

  13. i think I'm from a family of 5 only children. One adopted to another family. One my step mother's, around my age but lived with her father mostly, I lived with my mom, and then my parents, both remarried, had babies when I was 16 & 17. I don't think it's a terrible fate at all for the kids. I love my time to myself, always have. I'm patient and self entertaining, and I'd rather be that way than to require company. And I think the younger ones are quite happy to have the parents all to themselves. Siblings are fine, but so is growing up without them. No harm done.

  14. You don't have to hope... we'll hope for you.

  15. You must dezug! The word verification-bots demand it. Dezug, I tell you, it's never too late!

  16. oh, nora. i'm thinking about you, and wishing, too.

  17. Yes, I found myself wanting to ask people what it was like to grow up an 'only' as well, and had to fight the urge to do so.

    I didn't know you were on a 17 day protocol, ooof. That's a helluvah lot of hormones to endure.