Some might see this picture and think it looks melancholy or hopeless. I look at it and see a grown, strong woman standing in the sea, feeling the rush of the universe at her feet, looking out with respect and defiance as she takes stock of where she is, yet is looking to the horizon to the endless possibilities ahead. And she is facing them head on. With stillness. With grace.
Hi everyone! I apologize for the delay in updating, but I needed to take a little break and sort out some thoughts after this last round. When I left off before, I was waiting to hear from the Doc about the blood and ultrasound results. She called around noon that day and was sad to deliver not so great news. Essentially, the same kind of thing happened, wherein I had one dominant egg follicle and 5 smaller ones and they just couldn't get it together in there (again) to make this cycle a successful one. Why wasn't it successful? Like the old saying goes: "It's all in the timing!" Well, when there is one that is so much larger, it makes no sense to go through a surgical procedure and spend ALLLL that money to harvest just ONE egg and it was too early to harvest the lollygaggers. It also is too much to hang all your hopes on one egg. That is too much pressure for any situation!
The other option was to maybe do an IUI (think traditional "turkey baster" method) and see if the one egg would take. However, I did not buy the donor sperm of that kind. I bought it specifically for the IVF process which means there are less swimmers in the pool than the IUI kind. Let me just say again how awesome Dr. Bedient is! She hung up with me and called the Seattle Sperm Bank to see what the normal count was for each and then called me back- there may be a chance there was enough in there. Alas, it was too big of a risk, so the decision was made to stop this cycle. I was SO frustrated. And tired. And emotional. I mean, this is the most ridiculous thing in that you do all this planning and time the shots and take the meds and get ultrasounds and still live your life everyday and follow all of the rules AND IT STILL DIDN'T WORK????!!!!! The Virgo in me was NOT happy. Like I said- I succeed for the most part at things I set out to do and my body is just not cooperating. Typical! haha!
So... stopping this cycle it was. I took the HCG trigger shot to flush the egg follicles out and made an appointment to meet with Dr.Bedient later in the week to go over the results and compare the two cycles.
Before the appointment came, I was waiting for another hormonal period like the last time, which never came. What did come was at least 3 days of weird discomfort and cramps like it WOULD come....but it never did. Sidenote: If you ever saw the movie "The Cell" (another Jennifer Lopez one- I know how this looks) then you will recall the scene (in the crazy surreal part) where Vincent D'onofrio is torturing VInce Vaughn by pulling his intestines out and putting them on a skewer thing and then winding it like music box thing.....well, I have always imagined cramps like this! Like that is what is happening and I really don't think I'm far off. Thank goodness mine are usually not for long and THAT is not what is really happening! lol
Anyhoo- I digress.
I met with Dr. Bedient and when I saw her she hugged me so tight. I feel like this woman is really one of the kindest and most genuine people I've met. We sat and talked through why, essentially, the end result was the same, but that the blood results were somewhat different. The thinking is that in essence, my eggs are not good quality and that just is kinda what it is. They cannot get their act together to form a cohesive agreement about how this works and therefore, it doesn't work out so well. There are also issues of my hormone levels not working together as they should and so this is what happened. So, we discussed the option of starting another cycle and what that would look like and what would be different about it to hopefully make it work. We discussed the other options that are out there as well.
The different kind of options that I will be looking at before I make any decision are:
- Trying to create the eggs again myself. This entails finding out what the new meds look like to see if insurance has maxed out on some of them and what does that cost look like.
- Looking at the cost and availability of donated eggs to create an embryo with my donor sperm.
- Looking at the cost and availability of donated embryos (already fertilized eggs).
- Looking at traditional adoption options.
When I say "donated" eggs and embryos, I am talking about the eggs and/or embryos that were already created during another person's or couple's IVF treatment that they no longer need and so they donated them for people like me who are having a difficult time creating eggs. I am not so sure yet of the process of how you choose them or anything like that, but that information is coming. I will write about it when I know.
What I am sure of is that I am taking at least one month off of doing anything (other than research.) My body and soul need a break. It is a lot to deal with and the disappointment of it not working is its own special kind situation to work through. I am not a superwoman. I have feelings of wondering what is wrong with me, will this affect things in my future, why me, and all of the one billion other thoughts that go through your mind. I just have to remember what I, myself, said. This is no fault of my own. This is something I have zero control over and it does no good to be upset everyday and dwell. I even asked if it was something I did- like, did I drink too much Rum in my 20's?! Dr. B's answer was no. Unless I went through rigorous chemo ( Which I have not), then no- I haven't done anything. Its just genetic sometimes. So there is that.
If you are reading this and are struggling as well- know this: you are not alone and you are loved. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to message me on here. I will help as much as I can. Its ok to cry your heart out. To not go to work one day. To be sad and grieve. To feel. And then you find your bootstraps, make a plan, and do it. One day at a time. All we can do is go with it sometimes....roll with the punches....keep going and keep our chin up.
I'll be back soon!
Gotta get my R&D on.
Here's a thought for you:
"The Devil whispered in my ear, 'You're not strong enough to withstand the storm.' Today, I whispered in the Devil's ear, 'I AM the storm.'"