Thursday, September 8, 2011

"And here we are again."

This is what Dr. Donesky opened our follow-up/debriefing/give me hope/whatever else you want to call it appointment after shaking our hands. 

*SIGH* Yes, here we are again.

It has been a long, terrible, and painful week.  This is the first day I've made it until 6:49 pm Eastern Time without breaking into tears.  [Pats self on back.]  You go into an IVF cycle full of hope.  You know things are going to work...Hell, it does work for 65% of couples.  Besides, would you really pay your child's first full year of college tuition if you thought, 'oh, there's probably no chance.' No, that would be absurd.  So you're so excited for your future, for your possible children, for your family.  You think this is going to be a cake-walk and then...

NOTHING. Notta, zip.  Not even a frozen embryo to try in a few weeks.

I still can't adequately describe the pain I've been in for the past 11 days. There is the physical pain, which I had a good 48 hours of excruciating cramping.  At one point I couldn't even sit up to take medicine because I was doubled over, and I couldn't bare to straighten.  Then, there is the emotional pain. I've been blessed enough to never have had a boy break my heart. [Translation:  I was an ice queen (ok, bitch) who never let a boy get in close enough for me to be attached enough to break my heart...until I met BJ :)] Well, I think I've caught up and surpassed that kind of broken heart.  Mine was/is shattered.  Everyday I seem to find a piece in something.  I totally thought I would have spent the last week staring at myself in the mirror thinking 'Gee, I'm pregnant.'  Instead it's been spent trying to accept the reality that I may never get to be pregnant.

As if it wasn't bad enough that the cycle failed, the problem we have with our ailing embryos is devastating news.  As Dr. Donesky says, "It's not what you want to see."  So, since the transfer, I've had to try to deal with the fact that this may not work, EVER.  I can't tell you what it's like to think that you may not be able to create a little being with your soul mate that has my eyes and his hair (or, hopefully, vice versa).  To not get a chance to see all the great things about BJ and myself made into a precious little being...  To not get a chance to roll my eyes at all the traits and qualities that we didn't really want to pass on...  This has been a huge blow, and no one can really tell you anything you want to hear because all you want to hear is "You're pregnant."

I've quit crying on my way to work as of yesterday, but after sitting through a student support meeting about getting homebound services arranged for one my pregnant students, and then listening to her complain about how awful she feels, how she wishes she could go back in time, blah, blah, blah...I lost it.  Ruined my record of the day before which was 11:30 am before I started crying.  Instead of keeping track of HCG levels, I've resorted to how many hours I can go between tears.  I've had to grieve, because I've had significant lost, but at what point do you say enough?

I don't know if I've been that harsh with myself, but I did come to the conclusion, that I can parent.  Whether it be a successful IVF cycle, using donor eggs, using donor embyros, or adopting, I still have plenty of opportunity to have a child.  I HAVE time, I have opportunity, and I have my beautiful husband.  Oh, and I've still got the best RE going, in my opinion, not to mention family and friends. 

So, today, we met again with Dr. D.  He opened with the above statement, and then we got down to business.  He said over and over, it just takes one embryo, and that we have it.  He's changing my protocol completely.  We're going to do a bromocriptine-rebound along with a long-lupron protocol.  He told me to keep taking a new supplement I started called coenzyme Q10 which is an antioxidant.  I'm back on the gluten free train.  BJ and I are both going to start a new supplement called Juice+ which is like eating 17 fruits and vegetables in a day, which, I'll be honest, I don't do, nor anywhere close.  Basically, we are trying to increase cell stabilization by reducing free radicals in our systems. 

I start taking Parlodel on Monday, which is the bromocriptine.  The idea being that it will supress my pituitary from making any prolactin (hormone you produce in large quanities while breast-feeding).  Then I'll stop taking it a few days before I take the stimulation medication, and my prolactin levels will increase to higher than they were before (hence, the rebound). Scientists know prolactin is in the fallopian tubes.  They don't know what it's doing there, but they know it has some affect on the embryos.  There have been a few studies that show improvement in overall embryo quality in patients who have had poor embryo performance in previous cycles i.e. ME. 

The long-lupron protocol will shut my pituitary down more than the birth control pills did.  In fact, I won't be taking birth control at all this time.  It does mean more shots, but this honey badger don't care. I'll start lupron shots some time toward the late middle part of my next menstrual cycle, which considering this is the first unmedicated cycle I've had in 6 months...should be exciting.

Actually it is exciting.  It's another chance for that one embryo which is all we need.  I believe BJ, Dr. D., Susan, and I can do it. We will do it.  Am I a little more fearful? Yes, but who wouldn't be?  Am I ready?  Definitely, you can't accomplish anything if you never make an attempt.  So here I am, AGAIN, holding BJ's hand, and ready to take down this beast which is infertility.

"Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow'."
~Mary Anne Radmacher

Peace, Love, and a Little Courage,

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