Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Done and Done

This cycle is over and so is our journey through infertility and loss.

I thought I'd be ok but then the nurse who took my blood this morning was nice to me and I've been trying not to cry all day. The final straw was the call to get the result I already knew. I had to give a presentation to the staff at my school after the kids went (I hadn't been able to rehearse it because last night, when I came in from the infertility support group I help out with, I got a migraine - hardly any wonder, really - stress at work, failed cycle and hormones - the perfect storm). So, the call had to wait.

Tonight, I want comfort food and wine. Tomorrow, I want to restart my anti-anx.iety medication. I want to be numb for a while. I don't want to think about those three embryos that could have been my son's brothers or sisters and the fact that, even if we did do more treatment (which we can't/won't) we can never have that donor and that genetic combination again. That breaks my heart - how could I not want more like him - more for him?

And if one more person tells me "it wasn't meant to be", I might say something unforgivable.

Of course, although the physical journey is over the emotional one is not - and we will always carry it with us. Everything feels fragile right now - I am terrified that we will lose our wee boy, which would be to lose everything. And I can't bear the thought that he might be lonely - if not now, then one day in the future.

I think I have some processing to do.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Familiar Feelings

I went to the shopping centre today and there seemed to be babies everywhere.

And Clea.rblue seem to be advertising pregnancy tests on TV a lot. On Thursday, I passed a couple and the guy was pushing a double pram - "That's not fair!" I thought, "They got two at one go!". Yup, all the sad, angry, bitter, jealous stuff I thought I'd ditched when I had my son has come back. In fact, some of it I thought I had ditched before he was conceived. They're subtly changed this time - babies and pregnant tummies are still triggers by themselves, but siblings are really hitting the jealousy button. I saw a couple in the supermarket today with a toddler and a very new baby in a sling - and to cap it all the guy was singing to the baby and his partner (wearing the sling) was doing a little dance! Do they not know I'm in a delicate place right now?!

I POAS yesterday afternoon - I was cleaning the bathroom and there are two tests in the cabinet, both almost two years out of date (no idea whether that stops them working or not) and the urge took me. Very negative. That was 6dp3dt, so I know it was obscenely early and, working backwards with the figures from my son's HCG levels, I don't think he would have shown up as a positive at that point. I got a level of 120 at 12dp3dt and working on the idea that it would at least halve (since it was more than doubling) every 48 hours working back, it would have been 15 at 6dp3dt. I think Cle.arblue registers positive at about 25. So, probably too early on an out of date stick but I still feel low about it - mainly because my gut tells me it's right (oh and, by the way, can you tell I'm thinking about this a lot?).

I got a pack of new ones today and will test again tomorrow. Most cycles when we were having some sort of treatment, this was my strategy: test early and when you get a negative, you're disappointed but you know there's a chance you're just too early, repeat daily till you lose all hope. I liked to think it let me down gently - there was certainly no way that I was entertaining the idea of success right up till the clinic called with the beta to shatter my dreams again.

As for all those horrible feelings, I will get past them. I had achieved a state of relative equilibrium even before my son was conceived. After his birth, I was unstoppable - I patted bumps, cuddled babies and burbled away about the joys of breastfeeding. And for a long time, I did not think there would be any children, never mind two of them and I was delighted with the one I got. For the first year or so, I didn't even think of the frozen embryos - and we actually talked about donating them on, till the clinic told us that was not allowed in this country. I think that the fact that half of the girls from my antenatal group have had baby no.2 and the other half are trying has something to do with it - and the fact that most of my friends have two (or three) kids. Briefly, I was "one of them" and now I feel different again and I don't like it. Some people do not view parents and one child as a family, I find. For some people, it has to be two parents and two children - nice and symmetrical. And we did, way back in our courting days, agree that we wanted two.

Of course, the biggest and best reason we wanted this to work is for our son. His best friend came round last night and the pair of them ran and played and climbed and giggled so much. It was quite a different atmosphere to when it is just the three of us. It made me feel sad. At one point they were in the bath together and my son was swinging his toy watering can and it hit his friend and I told him to be careful of his brother. I have no idea where that came from - except I suppose that I do - wishful thinking.

I will be ok again. The hormones will settle, I can take my anti-dep.ressant/ anti-an.xiety medication again and I can switch from the beta-bloc.kers that make me tired to more modern blood press.ure medication. Oh, and the ring pessary for the prolapse being too big and in the wrong place is probably not helping my mood right now (noone wants to go near it till they know whether I'm pregnant or not) - I could have the repair surgery and do much more than I can now. I can grieve what we have lost and get on with enjoying life with my wee boy - which he deserves.

I will be ok again.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

No More Second Chances

The other embryos did not survive the culturing on process. We didn't think they would but it's still sad. This cycle is bringing back a lot of negative "not fair" feelings I thought I had let go of when my son was born. I can only hope they'll fade with time.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Never Simple

So . . . I have a 7 cell day 3 embryo on board. 

Of the three we had to defrost, one was a no-hoper (lost 7 out of its 8 cells), one lost 5 out of its 9 cells and they'll culture it on but don't have much hope for it and the one that went back kept 7 out of 8 cells. So no choosing from three lovely day 5 blasts for me but a clear decision for a day 3 which takes some of the agonising out of it.

Feeling pretty miserable though as the bl**dy ring pessary I have for my prolapse had to come out for transfer and wouldn't go back in properly. Ended up at the hospital gynae ward but they couldn't sort it out fully and I've now got a bigger size of ring but it's still not sitting properly AND I'm terrified that all the pushing and shoving down there will have ruined any chance of this working :(. As post transfer techniques go, it's hardly ideal! Feel particularly miserable about the possibility of letting my son down by not giving him a sibling.

Test date is Fri 17th but I'll POAS  before then. The problem with the ring also has implications if I do get pregnant, as it suggests the prolapse has worsened. The only treatment for prolapse while you're pregnant is the ring pessary but it seems my muscle-tone is now so poor that it wont stay in place at all. So there may come a point where bedrest is the only alternative which would be disastrous with my clotting issues (need to remain relatively active). If anyone out there has any knowledge or experience of pregnancy with prolapse, I'd love to hear it - I can find almost nothing online

Ugh - just feel miserable. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Staring at Change

Our embryos come out of the freezer at about 9am tomorrow - our 10 year, one month journey may be over by lunchtime.

I thought that having nothing to transfer might be a relief - it won't be. Turns out I really do want this - for me and for my husband (in those naive, early days, we agreed we wanted two kids) and very, very much for my son. I have been panicking about the fact that maybe I waited too long, that I am not fit enough, that I am too fat, that the badly fitting ring pess.ary that's holding my prolapse in is interfering with the absorption of the Cyc.logest . . . you get the picture.

I am also preparing for grief. This all started with a first pregnancy that ended in a first miscarriage and I fought all the way from there to here. I didn't really stop to grieve because I was never very sure what I was grieving. The losses were early - I didn't feel like I had lost a baby, more that I had lost the possibility of motherhood this time. But six losses mount up. Six losses (all natural pregnancies, separate from treatments), failed rounds of, a failed IUI, two failed IVFs. Some interesting diagnoses along the way - high blood pressure, a clotting condition that affects others in my family. And then there's the lost friendships and the lost opportunities - the career chances I didn't take because we were focusing on treatment, the holidays we couldn't take because we were paying for treatment. A lot of stuff.

And I think that, mainly, I pushed it all down and deferred it - waiting for "the end" - the time when I would know what I was grieving. Was it going to be the losses I spoke of above or was it going to be the much bigger loss - was I going to be grieving the loss of motherhood?

I am one of the lucky ones - we have our son. And one thing I don't grieve is my genes. Happily, since he arrived, I have never felt the need to mourn the fact that he is not my genetic child. How could I? He is all I could ever have hoped for - I love him more than I thought it was possible to love anything.

But, as we get closer (maybe very close) to the end of our journey, I realise that there is grief there and I'm a bit scared of how it's going to come out. I also realise that infertility/miscarriage is always going to be part of our lives. Because our son is the result of donor eggs and we intend to be (are already being) honest about this with him, we are not going to be merging into the world of fertiles now that we have our son. No bad thing, I think. I want what I went through to count for something, to help someone other than me. I am already helping out with the infertility support group at our local SANDS and I would like to be involved with the Donor Conception Network - an organisation whose ideals I strongly agree with.

The name of my blog becomes very relevant again. For our embryos, for us, for my son, I need to hope for the best. But I'm not sure how prepared I am for the worst. We'll see . . .