About a lot of Nothing and a little bit of Everything

***Written Wednesday, ended up as a draft instead of being posted somehow.***

Watching the clouds go by . . . it’s very windy today. There are these huge puffy clouds, and they are drifting past my office window like giant parade balloons. I don’t know why, but they’re making me think about time passing. It just seems to be floating past too and I am just an observer in my own life, waiting, waiting, waiting . . . waiting.

I haven’t posted in a while because this is an IF blog and I don’t have much to say about IF right now. Nothing new anyway. I still hate it, it still makes me angry how unfair it all is, and I still want a baby so much that my mind and body ache.

I’m also tired of being such a downer. Poor C. called on his lunch break to say hi . . . it started off well but then he asked me how I was . . . and well . . . I told him. He was nice about it but I could here the restlessness on the other end of the line. I apologized (again) that he is stuck living with such an unhappy person right now. He says he understands . . . but does he really? There is no way to truly know. He copes so differently (better, I’d say) and he just does not know what to do when he can’t fix what’s broke. (He can fix most things).

Friday we have our long awaited follow-up post failed IVF appointment. I have my list of questions at the ready, as well as my list of complaints.

The complaint list is the shorter of the two:

  • 4 weeks is too long to wait for an IVF post mortem
  • my RE promised to call me back 3 weeks ago and didn’t.

The questions list is longer:

  • WTF is MFTHR? Could I have it?
  • egg quality (the embryologist said I had “nice” eggs but the RE keeps questioning maternal age/egg quality despite a perfect FSH for an old gal)
  • sperm quality (they told us the IVF sample was the worst yet)
  • I read somewhere that the antisperm antibody problem reduces chances of pregnancy even if ICSI achieves fertilization and embryos appear to be OK at transfer . . . so what does this actually mean?
  • Oh, and I want smarty pants RE to acknowledge that I was right about needing ICSI!
  • embryos were just short of blast stage on day 6, how bad is that really?
  • should we consider assisted hatching?
  • my lining got thinner as the stimm days dragged on . . . but was it too thin?
  • I’ve never had an endometrial biopsy, should I?
  • Someone on day of ET made a comment about “difficult anatomy” referring to mine and the passing of the catheter: what did they mean? (I do know I am retroverted, but was told that is not a problem??)
  • Would it make sense to recheck any labs at this point like insulin or thyroid. Why have three (serious) weeks at the gym not netted a single ounce of weight loss?)

There are more questions, I am sure, but this is what I scribbled down three weeks ago.

I am hoping that the appointment will wake up my inner obsessive infertile. I’d like her to get excited about trying again . . . or at least pissed off about something . . . the apathy is killing me.

Next up we have AF due over the weekend. Neither here not there since I’ve been on the pill for this past cycle. But AF and this next pack of pills will mark the start of the BCP for suppression. That, in a very minor way, will actually be the start of IVF #2

So, I have come this far into typing this rambling post when I realize what’s really on my mind. I’ve been reluctant to discuss this here. Like if I say it out loud, or put it into words . . . it might get even scarier. I am also the type who is reluctant to make waves and this might. Or might not.

The topic of IVF alternatives has been discussed at my house lately. We want to build a family, and it does not have to be genetic, and I am not sure I can take much more of this ART stuff, especially if the sperm issues are as serious as we believe them to be. Our counselor (ms. SW, a therapist specializing in infertility issues) had a good point: the RE is in the business of giving hope in the bio conception department. We have been thinking, kind of seriously, about donor conception, DI to be exact. When we first brought it up, the RE kind of reacted to that as if it were a “last resort” and we shouldn’t be thinking about that yet, but we wonder if maybe it’s just another option to consider. C. is open to it, I am open to it and we have the counselor’s psychological profile blessing on it. So, basically, everyone but the RE is in favor of going this route since I am not in very good physical or mental condition to tackle IVF again. (At least not again, and again, and again!) I am pretty sure I can tackle IVF at least once more, it’s the failing part that kills me. So if ms. SW feels it’s a good fit for us and C. is so willing, and I’m OK too . . . then why throw another ten grand out the window along with my remaining sanity?

I am almost all for it . . . except for the nagging doubts about cutting C. out of the genetic equation too soon because I am turning mental. There is also the money aspect. We are not upwardly mobile earners. We are very middle class. C. delivers packages in a brown uniform and I am a nurse (not currently, but same wage range). So, I’m not crying “poor” but that combination is not a typical IVF affording scenario. To add to the fun, C. tried his hand at real estate for the first two years of our marriage, earning . . . well, less than the average welfare recipient, he did work hard though, just not his thing. Anyway, we can do it, we can afford it, there is always a way . . . but does it make sense for us? I keep thinking about how that money could go towards our child(ren) getting the masters degree that my parents would have never sprung for (they did not spring for the bachelors degree either, I worked three jobs to get through college instead). Bit I digress . . . So . . . what to do??

I think I am leaning towards one more go at IVF then trying DI, either with or without meds. It is just so space age. But it’s also kind of like half an adoption without quite as much fallout. No birth mom changing her mind, no cultural differences to explain to curious but ignorant strangers. No guarantees either . . . no way to know if would actually work. Working through the adoption scenario is really what led us to consider DI. We are both willing to love a child, any child, regardless of genetics. No doubts there. But as opposed to adoption, with DI we can experience pregnancy, birth, and an infant from day one of life . . . we can control prenatal care and early infancy care . . . and for me (possibly most selfish reason of all) . . . sperm donors don’t come looking for their long lost offspring very often. It happens, but it is not the same as adoption. With sperm donation, no one gave away a baby . . . they gave away gametes. They did not carry and nurture a living being for 9 months. They, well . . . they . . . well . . . you know.

This will need to be thought through . . . and talked through . . . and thought through some more. But part of me wonders why it is so very taboo?? It is a very simple** and logical solution to MF infertility if you take away the emotions. Emotions cannot be removed of course, but logic is not all bad. I am just so amazed that I married a man so sure of himself and his place in the world that this does not really phase him much at all . . . whatever it takes to build a family (that is both moral and legal of course!!) is OK with him. I think I would miss his genetics in the child more than he would. But as far as physical traits go . . . you can look for a pretty good match. I don’t mean to over simplify donor conceptions, but I wish they were more mainstream, less taboo. They look to me to be amazing options for creating life, for creating family.

Any one out there been down this road?? I know several of you are on the DE road and I am guessing that while it is different and much more complicated, it is also similar in many ways. How did you come to the decision, what was your thought process, what ws hardest thing to come to terms with, etc . . . any insights welcome.

**Not meant in in any way to minimize the struggle of MFI or the value of the male genetic input . . . it is such a personal choice. It’s just that we’re tired of struggling and we’re running out of time and our desire to have a child to raise is greater than our need to pass on either of our genes. That is not to say that we would not prefer to pass on our genes, but if I’ve learned anything from infertility it’s that we can’t always have what we want. Sometimes, some things, but not always or all thing.

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One Response to “About a lot of Nothing and a little bit of Everything”

  1. Millie Says:

    I’m so happy to see posts from you. I had the hardest time with my blogger friends over the last couple of weeks.

    I know you’ve posted more lately but you did ask folks to go back and comment here, so I’m doing just that.

    I think DI is talked about less these days because I think fewer people are choosing it for male factor. Now with isci and tese and all this fancy techniques, it’s not as necessary.

    My dh and I considered both donor embryos and donor eggs for many of the same reasons you mention. We knew we were ‘there’ when we just couldn’t stand the thought of another crappy cycle with little hope. For us, it became much more about becoming parents however that could happen and much less about the genetics.

    The hardest thing for me to come to terms with is that my husband and I aren’t going to create a child together. That’s just another loss in this whole IF journey. It’s not so much about my genes or his genes but just the chance to do what so many other people get to.

    I’m incredibly lucky in that we’re on the same page. We both want to be parents. Yesterday. That’s what’s important to us more than anything else.

    That’s not to say that we both haven’t grieved and done work processing all of this. We have. It’s not something we entered into lightly. We talked to lots of other people and read everything we could get our hands on.

    I highly recommend Caroline Lorbach’s book Experiences of Donor Conception, if you haven’t read it already.

    There are also some great resources for DI in the UK and Australia. They seem to be light years ahead of the US.

    I’m happy to go on and on about this stuff forever. I wish you luck in your journey.

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