Friday, June 7, 2013

When your heart breaks

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:

Despair
Anger
Lost
Vulnerable
Fear
Grief
Exposed
Defeat
Hopeless
Stress
Lonely

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.

Red flag.

I knew that I wouldn't respond well...but I had fiercely hoped that I would get 5-6 eggs. I got 2.

Red flag.

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.

Red flag.

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.

or

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.

Much love~

S





25 comments:

  1. Much love to you, my dear friend. I'm so very glad to have found you and will be with you every step of the way.

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  2. My dear Suzanne, I have not been reading/commenting well at all lately. I am so sorry for my absence during this painful, agonizing time. I am getting caught up today, and my heart is breaking alongside yours. As I read your thoughts about your mother's biological legacy ending with you, I cried. That piece of it hadn't even crossed my mind, but I completely understand why genes feel extra important given the circumstances. Oh how I wish for your mother to be able to live on in your child! Maybe it will happen someday...how I hope it will! But if you go another direction - whether it be donor eggs or something else...we will all be here, backing you up and abiding with you in this. With a heavy heart...Em

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  3. I have been thinking about you so much the past couple of days. I am so sorry for how this IVF went and for all you are dealing with. This is horrible and unfair and I totally get the loneliness. I am glad you have another consult with CCRM and I also think it's good you are looking into other options. It's better to have too much info than not enough, at least with this stuff and I think gathering everything now so that you can make a decision in a bit is a great idea. You have to do what's right for you and T, no matter what that ends up being. I've prayed for you this whole time and will continue to do so and I am here for you girl. *hugs*

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  4. I have been thinking about you non-stop this week!!! I'm praying for a peace that passes all understanding and for a wisdom of what is next for you and your husband!! Hugs!

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  5. Wow, so well written. I too battle with these thoughts. When I find myself debating everything I think I personally like donor egg the best since I would still get to carry him/her and they would have my blood. But it is a mourning process letting go of "biological" and if that time comes for you (or me) I pray that we have peace about it! It is SO FREAKING hard talking with family/friends who don't get it. It's like speaking another language! I admire your strenghth. You already are an awesome mom because of all the fight you are putting out. I will pray you guys will know in your heart which road to take as you have all the different clinics and options :)

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  6. Suzanne, I wish I knew what to say. I hate that you're dealing with this :( I know the feeling of not really being sure what to do next. I, too, have thought long and hard about the DE route. Here's what lead me away from that, though... Genetic testing. I just can't give up on my own eggs until I know more. I truly believe that whether or not CCRM will work for me, I'll at least get some more answers... I think that you'll learn a lot more at your ODWU and with the tests that come in the days after your work up. I know that whatever it is that you choose will be the right thing for you. Try to remember that - that this is all about you - remember to follow your heart and go with your gut. Do what feels right for you. I know that so much has been taken away from you (from us), but you still have options (me too) and that's a beautiful thing. You WILL be a Mom... I just know it. Thinking of you!! xoxo

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  7. Biggest hugs to you my sweet friend. If there is one thing my family has taught me it is that it doesn't take blood to build a family. Just love.

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  8. I am Em's mom from "teach me to braid" blog. We have followed your blog, prayed for you, rooted you on with earnest zest, cried over your posts, and now we grieve with you. I pray that God would grant you divine wisdom far beyond your own. That He would open doors and give you peace when you walk through each one. And I pray that He will gift you with a child and fill your arms and grant the desires of your sweet heart.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. Your daughter writes beautifully and you can tell in every word what an amazing person she is. I know that says a lot about you. I can't tell you what it means that you are so supportive of me, her and others that you've never even met. Thank you, so much.

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  9. This post brought tears to my eyes. I think the prospect of not carrying on your own heritage does become more real once you've lost a parent. I have thought so many of the same thoughts about if IVF doesn't work. Part of me catches myself and wonders if that is selfish or vain to want a child with my eyes or my mom's hands. Then I tell myself I don't think it's a vanity thing, but just a human thing. However, in the end, I agree 100% that using donor eggs will not lessen any bond you have once carrying that child. I don't know about you, but if I'm pushing something the size of a watermelon outta me, damned if we aren't going to have a bond stronger than any other two humans on the planet! ;)

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  10. Suzanne, you are so strong. I am so sorry you have been going through this and I think you should take all the time you need.

    We will be trying IUI with donor sperm and it was incredibly hard for me to come to terms with the idea of using a donor. It will take time for you too, but I know in the end, once you have your baby bump and you are decorating a nursery you will just feel so happy. And of course, once you have your baby I know you will be an amazing Mom. Although your child won't be genetically linked to your side of the family, you will still be passing down all of your mother's stories, traditions and culture to your child. That is very significant. More significant than DNA if you ask me.

    I am here for you girl. xo

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  11. So well written...you are not alone. This post describes our situation perfectly, also :(
    We are going for our 2nd opinion Monday. It is so hard but i know you will grieve as long as you need to and then be ready to start again. Whatever the path you choose, you have lots of prayers and support from me! Hang in there!

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  12. Oh Suzanne, huge hugs. I can't imagine exactly what you are going through but I know that feeling of loneliness because so many of us feel that on our journey for a variety of reasons.

    I think it's normal to mourn the loss of having a biological child. I'll be sending so many virtual hugs and positive thoughts to you as you go through this process.

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  13. I hope this doesn't come across as too forward, but I must say all I kept thinking about when I read your post is that above all else, your mother would want you to be a mother.

    Our attempts at IUI resulted in complete failure. My ovaries would not produce any eggs at all. IVF was off the table too. I wasn't responding meds. Just like that, the door to having a biological child was shut. In a way, when one gets such an unequivocal outcome, it helps focus your attention and energy on other options. In our case, it was donor eggs. And as you know, it was the option that worked. Perhaps the unequivocal failure of your IVF cycle can help you in the same way. You seem to have already started to set your sight on other options, options that are likely to work.

    This is a hard time for you. I just want you to know that your community (including me) is here to support you.

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  14. Thinking of you. There are so many emotions when it comes to infertility, it is hard to separate them out to decide what path to take. Prayers for you and your hubby!

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  15. I've been thinking about you Suzanne and this post really hits home for me, unfortunately. I hate that I can relate to how you are feeling and that you are going through this. I wish you peace in whatever decision you make and know that you have so many people supporting you, even mostly complete strangers like me.

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    1. I saw today your posts about your retrieval and I'm sorry. I know YOU KNOW, what this is like and I wish you didn't. We'll get through this. Thank you so much for your support. Right back at ya.

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  16. You're so strong, Suzanne. In the midst of despair and disappointment, you're already looking at what you have learned from this failed cycle.
    I lost my mom too early, too, yet don't feel tied to having a genetic baby too much. I'm from a large family though, so I don't feel like I'm the only one who could pass on that heritage - my husband kind of feels that way, and considering donor sperm would be very hard for him.
    Hang in there. I hope the consultations help you find a way to build your family that feels right for you and your husband.

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  17. I admire the strength you have. You've been through so much that I wish it would not come to the decision of DE. I have to agree with Aubrey when she says she will not give up on her own eggs until she has some answers. In the end follow your intuition, DE or not your bond with your child will be unbreakable.

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  18. Just wanted you to know that a girl in my infertility support group is doing embryo adoption out of tennessee and it is only 5000 dollars per time. They give you full profiles of the parents etc. I know that is even more different then donor eggs but it is another option that is out there. Experience pregnancy with an adopted child-when you hold that child DNA will not matter!

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  19. Oh Suzanne. I'm crying and my hurt hearts for you right now. Because we should never have to experience this much pain to become parents. I'm so so sorry! I know that is all I can offer is my sincere compassion for your pain because I know it well.

    I can't tell you much about donor eggs or anything related to that. But I can and will in the next day post about my ODWU at CCRM. It was not great and want to post about it because I think I went into to it thinking they had a magic wand. And they most certainly do not.

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  20. I am so sorry you are having to go through this :( You are so strong and courageous for keeping the faith and continuing forward through everything that you've endured. I seriously admire your perseverance so much. I wish so badly that I could just snap my fingers and make this happen for you, *hugs*

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  21. Suzanne this is just heartbreaking. I'm late coming to this, but I cried reading this post. After the commitment of ivf, a failed cycle would be crushing. I'm praying for you in whatever you decide to do. <3

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  22. Suzanne,
    I'm sorry for being so late to comment. I've been reading blog posts, but haven't had the time to sit down and comment. Anyways, I'm sooooo sooo sorry. My heart hurts for you. I know the feeling of not knowing what to do next. Not knowing whether it will be worth it to try any further. I completely understand. I'm sorry you're hurting, and I really wish I could take all the pain away for you. xoxoxoxo

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