You put it back together again. You nurture it and you wait for it to heal.
There are a lot of words that could describe the last few days for me:
I've often said that I knew my chances were slim. The numbers don't lie, and I know that when it comes to eggs, I just don't have many. I always knew that my first IVF would give me a lot of information that I would need in this journey to continue on...or not.
My hormone levels never seemed to really get under control. High progesterone during the follicular phase. High estradiol. Fluid in the uterus. All things that make for an unhappy place for an embryo.
I knew that I wouldn't respond well...but I had fiercely hoped that I would get 5-6 eggs. I got 2.
I never thought that even if we went forward with only two eggs, that neither would even make it to the point of attempting fertilization. That was a blow for me. It was also a surprise to my doctor.
We have always said we would do potentially 2-3 IVF's before moving on to other options. Whether that be donor eggs or adoption or child-free. However, I've also said that I only wanted to take things as far as it was reasonable and realistic. That I would always look at each cycle and make the smartest determination on how to proceed forward.
Currently we are scheduled for our ODWU at CCRM on June 25th (for now). I made this appointment a week or so ago. Knowing when I would start my next cycle (ish) and wanting to have that out of the way should the IVF not produce a pregnancy, we were planning on doing a cycle with them.
However, we did learn a lot from this IVF. Even though I have only done one. Even though, there is a chance that I could have a better response or better eggs next time. It is not expected. The odds are not good that I will ever produce more than 3-5 eggs. I also have a huge quality concern now that I did not have previously. So what do we do?
We can go to CCRM, we can spend $30k on a last chance shot in the dark.
We can move on to donor eggs and have a great chance at finally having a baby.
Isn't that what I really want?
What I have to come to terms with is this baby won't have my eyes or my mom's laugh or my feet that are mirror images of my mother's. Is that so important? Would it be so important if my mother were alive and telling me that this baby would be mine no matter what? Would it be so important if my mother had other children? If I didn't know that without a biological child, my mother would die with me? Is it just the loss of my mother and now my biological child that is creating this feeling of a double dose of agony?
These are all questions that run through my head. Then I think about all the years that T and I talked about kids, who they would look like? Would they have my eyes? His dimples?
Are any of these things really important?
In my head they aren't. In my heart...I'm getting there. It's a tug-of-war and I know that's the grief of losing the biological connection to my child and the hope of carrying OUR child regardless of that DNA link.
I have reached out to my therapist to meet with her next week. I have also started looking into different donor egg agencies and several clinics. I have 3 options really...
A clinic in Indianapolis - 55% success rates (the best in the city)
A clinic in Chicago - 80% success rates (phone consult on July 2)
CCRM - 76% success rates (June 25th ODWU)
There is then the question of agency vs. clinic donors. The price is HUGELY different. However, so is the pool to choose from. I'm trying to get information from threads and boards of other women that have gone through the donor egg process to make an informed decision on this.
Will CCRM push me to try one more time? I doubt push is the right word, at the end of the day, no doctor is going to tell me I have a good chance with my own eggs. At my phone consult Dr. G gave me 15-20% chance of pregnancy with them. Will that change and be even less with the information from this first cycle? Will CCRM be able to wave a magic wand and get a better response AND quality egg?
I don't think anyone can tell me that...so I have to go with my heart. And it's telling me no. Or is it the grief telling me that? Maybe the next few weeks, that will become more clear.
Lastly...while one of the words I described earlier was "lonely". I have felt lonely. When I speak to my family, who knows very little of our infertility. Our friends (at least most of them) that continue to know nothing of what it's like to struggle for what's so natural for them. Work...because I have to put on a happy face just to get through the day. However...there is a place that I have felt anything but lonely and that's here.
I have felt the amazing amount of support and love that has come from all over to show me how much you care. I have felt that in every comment and in every note or email. You have brought tears to my eyes and love to my heart.
For that, I will be forever grateful.