Our luck.

Sorry for the long delay in posting – I just couldn’t get my brain wrapped around anything else but our IVF cycle.

It didn’t work.

Well, that’s not strictly true. I had a few days of positive tests (even on mother’s day!), only to find out that my initial HCG (the measurable hormone of pregnancy) was way too low, and then today’s level was even lower. In technical terms it’s probably considered a chemical pregnancy; meaning that while home pregnancy tests and my blood-work showed it’s existence; it was over before it really got established. Luckily we have 3 frozen embryos from this cycle and today I got the go ahead to try a frozen embryo transfer immediately. FETs are much less hard on your body than a regular fresh IVF cycle because you don’t have to take ovarian stimulating hormones, you just have to get the timing of the transfer right and hope that your embryos survive the thawing process. Last year we got pregnant after an FET of embryos from our first IVF cycle in 2010 (that produced Lucy) but I lost that pregnancy  – exactly a year ago today.

Kind of poetic timing. Or at least really sad.

I feel… okay I guess? Sad, definitely. Frustrated and a little confused – sort of worried that maybe we have something else going on with our embryos – maybe a genetic issue that’s arresting their development? Or perhaps an immune issue that hasn’t been uncovered? Chemical pregnancies and miscarriages happen all the time under normal circumstances (doctors estimate that 40-70 percent of pregnancies end before they are even detected) so they don’t necessarily indicate an unusual fertility problem, but I can’t help but wonder.

Thanks for all of your good wishes and positive vibes sent our way. It means so much to me and Pk to have support during this very trying process. I’m really glad that we can keep trying and have my fingers crossed that this next round  will be successful for us. If I haven’t mentioned it before – knowing how lucky we are to have Lucy in our lives gives me a huge sense of gratitude and humility everyday. Every life is a miracle, and I’ll be squeezing her a little harder today.

-H

pictures of Lucy from behind, instagram edition.

IMG_4352 IMG_4351 IMG_4350 IMG_4349 IMG_4315 IMG_4345 IMG_4346 IMG_4348This poor sick baby – not sick enough to stay home and rest, but sick enough to be a crab apple. I snapped these pics on some of our few outside moments. The weather is finally better (despite last week’s rains and flooded basement, oy.) I keep hoping the fresh air will do her some good, but this is one slow going head cold/ sinus infection. Lucy has decided that she no longer wants to cooperate when it’s time to take antibiotics so I’ve resorted to a combination of wrestling and bribery. Are they helping? I don’t know… she still sounds and feels bad, but at least has no more crazy high fever. She is taking three hour naps and snoring louder than her dad every night, but at least she’s sleeping. I can almost excuse the wild temper tantrums she’s been throwing lately (almost.) They are so foreign to me, like when she did figure out that this was a way to communicate her frustration? Where is my angelic toddler? Who is this tiny screaming spitfire? Should I blame the antibiotics? The sinus infection? Distracted parenting?

I started the stimulation part of our IVF cycle last night. Now I’ll have more frequent monitoring appointments – every 48 to 72 hours for the next 9-12 days, until our doctor thinks that my eggs are fully cooked at which point we’ll schedule our retrieval. The cruelest part of IVF is the unpredictability. Want to RSVP to something? Sorry – there is no way to plan ahead. Need to schedule a meeting?  you may or may not be able to attend. Trying to take a trip? Nope – you have to be available for monitoring appointments. Will you or won’t you be pregnant? Will it work? I find it ironic that so many people (normal, fertile people) can schedule their lives around their planned pregnancy and I plan (or un-plan, as it were) my life around our infertility treatments.

I think some people find solace in statistics and information; I know I did during my first cycle that resulted in Lucy. IVF is so unpredictable that it makes sense to want to absorb whatever info you can find. You want to predict every possible outcome. Here’s what I know now. You can’t. You can’t possibly predict what will happen – whether your cycle will be successful, whether it will be cancelled, whether you’ll make it to transfer day, whether you’ll have embryos to freeze so you can try again later, whether it will work and you’ll get pregnant, whether or not you will carry that pregnancy to term. My doctor said it best during one of the million appointments you have prior to actually starting the process – “You are over one hurdle.” Just one. It really is like a hurdles race – you have cross each hurdle, each step in the process, and immediately prepare yourself for another one. This time around I’m not so vigilant about reading all the statistics and comparing my experience to other people’s, partly because I’ve been through it before and partly because I’m trying to keep the stress level low. This time I’m kind of just riding the wave, following my doctors instructions, trying to fit in extra rest when I can, and preparing myself for the next hurdle. Pk is gone for a quick trip around the world, but he’ll be back mid week – when I’ll be good and dosed up on hormones (excited honey?) There’s a kind of great relief in not being hyper vigilant this time around. We’ve set this process in motion and now we’ll see it through, whatever the outcome. Fingers crossed.

xo-H

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