I’m standing outside my bedroom window, I’m looking in at the life I should have had. It’s been almost 4 weeks since our BFN and tomorrow I should have been 8 weeks pregnant, I should have been watching my tummy grow, I should have been happier than I have ever been, I should have been waiting for the day that our baby was placed in my arms as Frank and I cried with joy and felt our hearts overflow with a love that we have never known. If I think back on my life, it’s always been like this. I’ve always been outside looking in and wishing that things were different.
It’s more so now as I feel like my hopes and dreams will never come true, I feel so left behind once again since everyone (even real life friends) tend to move forward and here I am, still trying to do the same old thing with the same old result. It’s so disheartening since I expected to be in a different place after 5 years of marriage.
I haven’t had the words to blog, I haven’t been reading blogs either because I don’t feel like I have much to offer. I’m in such a different place to before because it’s all changed, it’s not the same anymore and neither is this grieving process. I am so thankful for the people in my life that have offered almost daily support in form of e-mails, phone calls and texts, these few people really understand and have helped me through some hard times. You know who you are and I love you guys for it!
We had our follow up appointment over 2 weeks ago and I have to be honest when I say that I knew what to expect. According to Dr V, this last cycle was perfect. It should have worked, my E2 was perfect and therefore so were my eggs, the sperm was the best we’ve ever had. The ER and GIFT went off fine with no complications, we had a good fert rate and no bleeding before test day but once again – no implantation. He asked how I felt, I told him I’m tired of it all. He asked what I wanted to do and I told him that honestly, I want to stop. I want it all to stop because I don’t have it in me to fight anymore.
He said that they (all 3 FS’s) had reviewed our case and had come up with 3 options:
- We could carry on regardless, do IVF after IVF until we get a positive result but this could never happen and he doesn’t suggest it
- We could do an IVF with surrogate back-up which he thinks is the way to go, there are so many pro’s and con’s to this one – this one is the hardest one for me to get my head around
- We could use Donor Eggs or Sperm – this one, my friends is the cracker (more on this lower down)
We spoke for a long time, my mind realing because even if you think you are prepared you are never really prepared. He is the most wonderful Dr and understands this so well, he is so compassionate and I know he wants this for us as much as we want it.
At this point in time, after 4 long years of being at VL they are still scratching their heads with this one, as far as Dr V is concerned, we shouldn’t have a problem conceiving, there is one of two things that they now think could be the problem. It’s such a mind-fuck to hear that you are perfect but yet they can throw everything at you, try absolutely everything that there is to offer with no positive result. Why?
So what is it that they think is wrong? Either it’s my uterus which would mean that it’s not doing this: At the time of ovulation the uterus and the endometrial lining are prepared for implantation. The glands and the endometrium are thickened to 10-14 mm, have formed three zones, blood vessels and blood flow have entered zone three and the glands are producing rich sugar-like secretions to nourish the embryo until it implants. New molecules are forming on the lining to make it receptive and sticky (integrins) for the embryo. Heparin molecules enter the uterine lining support binding of the embryo to the lining. A complicated orchestration of different types of lymphocytes is involved in binding the embryo to the lining and then helping it to develop the placenta or it could be that Frank and I are making good embryo’s but are “reproductively imcompatible” which would mean that something is going wrong down the line (after the embryo’s are put back). Unfortunately there are no tests for either one of these and it could be either (we have had all immune, chromosome and HLA tests done and none of these showed anything wrong).
This is why Donor was brought up, changing one of the parameters could work and in this case Donor Sperm would be the easiest in terms of treatment since it would mean doing IUI’s instead of IVF. Frank and I have always said that we would never use Donor (but you cannot really decide until it becomes a reality for you) so we did discuss it and have decided against it since we started this journey to have a baby (geneticly) together. The only thing left is the dual transfer using a surrogate which changes everything.
I have spent many many hours debating this with close friends and Frank. I think that I can do the whole surrogacy thing, I think that if I had a choice between not having a baby and having someone else carry it for me that there would be no question but thinking about it and actually doing it is two different things as I’m sure you can imagine. Trying to make a decision about the future has been hard and I don’t think that we are anywhere near our answer.
We could stick to our guns and do more IVF’s (but I already feel like a fool for not listening the first time) because sometimes it takes more than 3 fresh and 1 frozen cycles to get it right and it might still work eventually or we could do IUI’s since it’s clear that we have fertalisation and IVF isn’t needed anymore, Dr V is happy for us to do this but it’s around R5000 a pop now and even if we just did 3 and they all failed then it would mean R15000 that I could have put towards a surro cycle – of-course this is like many things in life, it’s always worth it if it works but right now I’m a bit gun-shy…and then there is surrogacy.
We have someone that offered before our GIFT but offering something like this when you don’t really know the in’s and out’s of it all is different to really meaning that you want to do it. We haven’t had a chance to sit and discuss it with them yet so in terms of making decisions it’s hard because it’s not just about Frank and I anymore, it’s about another couple and their children, lawyers and high courts, counsellors and screening etc etc etc.
And then of-course there are our frozen embies, 3 of them, excellent quality apparently which Dr V feels should go into a surrogate since she wont need it to be medicated and wont need intralipids. Of-course all that he has suggested is our choice and I can say fuck it and do the FET only to feel like an idiot when it fails but the paperwork involved in using a surrogate for the FET just seems pointless too, so as you can see, we are still nowhere near making any real decisions.
The one thing I know for sure is that I need to start living a normal life again, one that doesn’t revolve around babies and future plans to conceive, I need to stop living my life in 2 week cycles and hoping for a miracle but the big question right now is how? How do I do that after 5 years of living and breathing infertility? How do I do that when I want to be inside looking out?
Dr V also says that I could go for a second opinion, I think he’s frustrated too but tell me please, what is someone else going to try that we haven’t already tried? He doesn’t think it’s necessary for me to go on the pill since the pill doesn’t stop my polyps anyway and in his words “I don’t want to take the small chance of a miracle away from you”….bless him but I don’t believe in miracles anymore
So that it folks, we haven’t moved forward and we haven’t moved backwards, we’re still here, in the same place and part of me still wonders if I will always be on the outside looking in
Edited to add: Sheesh – for someone that has nothing to say this is a bloody long post!