one of a kind

Today I received the results of my second endometrial biopsy. Again, they have come back as pre-receptive. And in addition to that, a sample from my biopsy was sent in for separate testing, and the results came back post-receptive.

What does this mean? NO ONE KNOWS. My doctor has said he has never seen a case like this, and neither has any doctor at my clinic. He will be holding a special conference call with a number of doctors to discuss the options for me, but basically, it’s not looking good.

I am to spend the next few months getting my BMI in check (read: get skinny) and “we’ll see” in February.

My case seems to be one of a kind. Just like, apparently, my son is. The chances of giving him a sibling are slipping further and further away from us, and every time I think of him, I wonder how the heck he exists? How did he defy these odds? How did he make it, when modern science continues to crap on us?

I’ve always been grateful for him. Going through infertility and coming out the other end with a baby: it feels like a gift every day. But now… today… I can appreciate how truly special he is. He truly is a miracle… and it’s starting to look like he may be our only miracle.

Hearing your doctor say that you probably need to look into gestational carriers is heartbreaking. It really never seemed like it was something we would have to do. And I’m not sure it’s something we want to do. I just don’t know where our hard line is anymore, and I guess I need a few days/weeks to figure that out.

For now, me and my one of a kind uterus and my one of a kind son and my amazing Husband will have to find a way to enjoy these holidays amidst this heartbreak.

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one day

The results of my biopsy have come back: I’m “pre-receptive”. That means that during an FET cycle, instead of taking progesterone for 5 days leading up to the transfer, I maybe need to take progesterone for 6 days leading up to the transfer. At 5 days, my endometrial lining is still ‘not ready’ to accept the transfer.

Seriously? Has that been the problem this whole time? That my body just isn’t ready to implant at a normal time? By one day?!?!? One day has caused 2 years of pain before conceiving my son, and another 2.5 years of trying to conceive his sibling? 1 f*(*&^%W987ing day?!?

I was all ready – ready to do our final transfer… hoping the biopsy/scratch did what it needed to do and helped to make my body the way it should be.

But with these results, instead of proceeding with our FET, we’re going to do a second biopsy to confirm that one day has been ruining my life.

My second biopsy is scheduled for Friday. Then I wait for my new cycle to begin, start Estrace at the appropriate time and wait for results. If everything comes back positive, or “receptive”, then we can proceed with a transfer… Hopefully right before the clinic closes for the holidays. We’re cutting it close, but I really want to have an answer by the new year. One way or the other, we will be making some hard decisions in December.

crushed

It’s been hard to bring myself to write. Our 3rd FET failed. It just didn’t take at all. I wonder, looking back, if going through a fourth miscarriage would be preferred because at least I would know my body is making an effort. But nothing. Absolutely nothing.

It was a really hard blow. We have two embryos left – both sub-par quality. Our doctor will be putting them in together – that’s how little faith he has that this will actually work. But first:

  • Another sonohysterogram which looked “perfect” – exactly what they said last time, 2.5 years ago
  • An endometrial biopsy/scratch – not exactly a fun time

I had the scratch yesterday and was feeling hopeful. It is recently being discussed that the scratch increases your chances substantially (like 20%) but that’s if your next cycle is your FET. Mine is not. I need to wait for the results of the biopsy which take 3 weeks, so chances are, I will have a full cycle in between the biopsy and our FET. What does that mean? Is it still more effective? Does it not matter by then?

We will spend this cycle, whenever it starts, trying naturally. I actually bought ovulation sticks – it’s like I’m going back in time!

We have also been having the hard conversations I never thought we would have to have:

  • Is adoption an option for us?
  • Do we do this all again with the chance of ending up in the same place?
  • Are we comfortable with surrogacy? Donor eggs? Donor sperm?

Every time we start a conversation like this, we both feel sick. We end up in tears, because none of these seem right for us. Husband is still hanging on to hope, despite all the evidence pointing us in the other direction. I know we’ll end up having these same conversations in a couple of months, once our next FET fails and we are all out of embryos.

That’s what infertility has done to me. This is the kind of person it has made me. I can’t look to the future. I can’t hold my son without wishing he had a best friend that I gave him. I can’t have hope because I know what it’s like to fail.

Infertility has crushed me.

 

 

i forgot about this…

I had my third FET on Friday and everything seemed to go well. I was feeling confident and calm, and had this overwhelming feeling that everything was going to work out wonderfully.

And then the waiting…

Having taken the summer off, I had forgotten. I forgot how emotionally charging the 2ww is. One minute I’m up, and the next, I feel like the progesterone needles are all for nothing and why am I putting myself through this again?!? I forgot how difficult it is to not pee on a stick every day, because it’s so early that you don’t want to give yourself false hopelessness, and you don’t want to take away your potentially false hope. I forgot how during every 2ww, my husband annoys me more than ever and we end up getting into a big fight over nothing.

Dang this 2ww sucks.

Luckily work is kicking my butt this week. The days go by faster than expected and I don’t have the time to spend focusing on every potential twinge in my tummy.

It’s only been 5 days since transfer. How soon is too soon to test?

it’s been quite a year…

It’s been over a year since I last updated this blog. The last time you heard from me, I was in a dark, dark place. But I had another outlet – the ladies from my fertility clinic have a facebook support group where I’ve been focusing my energies, not leaving as much of a need for this outlet.

But for some reason, this morning, I’ve felt inclined to return. Maybe it’s because of the year we’ve had. 5 failed IUIs, IVF retrieval and failed fresh transfer, temporarily successful second transfer followed by a miscarriage discovered at the 7 week ultrasound, and then the break. I have never understood needing a break from all of this because it doesn’t get you further in the process. But after that miscarriage, I needed a break. Badly.

We found out about our miscarriage days before Mothers Day. On Mother’s Day, I started running, eating better, and focusing on the family I have instead of the family I want. And it made for an amazing summer – the best of our lives. Our son now has two very doting parents who aren’t mentally preoccupied with infertility. Our hearts are healed as best as they can be. And we’re ready to see this through.

I started prep for an FET last Thursday. We have 3 embryos left. 3 chances. One is a really good quality embryo, while the last two are just mediocre. So in my head, we have one good chance left. That’s a lot of pressure.

So I’m back. I’ve always found blogging to be a good stress relief – an outlet to say the things I want to say without having to burden friends or family. And to be honest, friends and family have seen us through over 4 years of trying to have a baby – they’re probably sick of hearing about it. And I don’t blame them.

I started blogging the cycle I got pregnant with my son. Hopefully my return will reap the same rewards…

had i known…

I find myself, in this difficult journey, constantly thinking “if only I had known…”

Had I known that getting pregnant was no easy task, I would have dropped the birth control pill the moment I said “I do”, whether we were ready or not.

Had I known that it would be equally difficult, if not harder, to get pregnant with a second child, I’d have started sooner. I’d have called the clinic and started treatments as soon as I was clear to go again.

Had I known that three IUIs would fail, I’d have jumped straight to IVF from the start so that we didn’t waste all this time and money and energy.

Had I known that even though the journey feels easier when you have one child to hold and cuddle, the aching you feel to complete your family vision is still consuming.

Had I known that this may be my complete family: Husband, Son and I, I’d have cherished my son’s first two years so much more, trying not to blink so I don’t miss a thing.

this may sound stupid…

… But it just really occurred to me that this IUI may not take. I’ve been secretly cocky for 9 days now, assuming the only thing standing in the way of me knowing I am pregnant is a blood test. But just now, out of no where, I thought I felt a little cramp. The kind of cramp I get when I’m gearing up for my period.

It may have been imaginary, or perhaps I was hoping I would have some kind of early warning sign like implantation cramping.

But that imaginary tiny little feeling in my tummy made me realize ‘what if this doesn’t work?’.

Husband and I said, 3 IUIs and then we’re escalating to IVF. And over dinner the other night, we figured, what’s the harm in one more IUI. In the back of my mind, I didn’t think I would need it, so of course I could commit to it.

And now… now I’m remembering the odds: 25% chance of pregnancy. That’s low.

As realism is setting in, I can’t help but feel defeated already. I know there’s still a chance, but I’m far less hopeful than I was when I woke up this morning. A tiny imaginary twinge in my tummy – that’s all it took for me to lose most of my hope.

support, part deux

Coming from Toronto, I spent the first few visits at my new, small town clinic being quiet, polite, and doing whatever I was told to do. It was very quick that I realized the culture of my new clinic is very different than my old. At my new clinic, my nurses know me by name. They semi-remember my meds, where I am in my cycle, my concerns and fears, my next steps… they actually know who I am.

Also, vastly different, are the women going to the clinic. Some are quiet, and keep to themselves, which is fine. But I find myself in the lineup for ultrasounds, or in the waiting room to get blood work done, in hilarious conversation with the other patients. Because when you are fertility-challenged, no one gets your fertility jokes except for other people in similar situations.

So when someone mentioned to me there is a facebook support group for the ladies who go to our clinic, I was thrilled. It’s a place where we can cheer each other on, vent our frustrations, share our funny stories as well as our anger, with other people who completely understand.

If someone is in tears, the rest of us rally for her to find the silver lining, or accept the crappiness of the situation with understanding. If someone is angry, the rest of us share the anger and our own stories of frustration so that everyone knows that no one is alone in this.

It’s a great group – because of the people, and because it’s so very needed. Because of this group, my mornings at the clinic are shared with people I recognize and know the story of, and it’s a huge distraction from the poking and prodding I’m about to face.

I highly recommend a group like this as it does a lot for the mind and soul. And my only concern is what happens when someone gets pregnant… the concerns change from ‘will this ever happen for me?’ to ‘will this end disastrously?’ Will the group be as supportive if this happens?

pre-natal vitamins

Isn’t it such BS that infertiles need to take prenatal vitamins for the entire time they’re trying to conceive, just in case? I finished my bottle of vitamins the other day and was so all-consumingly irritated by having to purchase another bottle, not knowing if it is nourishing anything other than my non-pregnant body with folic acid.

I should try to have a positive outlook on it, I guess – that my body is ready for whenever baby decides to be conceived. But I’m in my 2ww, so positivity is sporadic, and now is not one of those moments…

That’s my rant.

support

Support is so important along this journey. I’ve always been very open about our challenges: our miscarriages, our treatments, etc. My friends and my family know our struggles, and provide the space I need to vent, cry, laugh, and wonder. I’ve written before about my mother and a fight we had that made me feel like I didn’t have her support, and from that time, I’ve seen her try. Her tries are really misses, but I appreciate the effort even if it isn’t what I need.

This weekend was a shining example of the support I have that makes me feel so loved. I had friends visiting for the weekend and found out my IUI was scheduled for Sunday. I felt bad leaving my friends behind to go to my IUI but I also know that the day falls when it falls and you accommodate it as best you can.

So Sunday morning, my amazing friends ended up coming with Husband, my son and I to my IUI. They took care of my son so that Husband could be by my side – something I didn’t have for the last two IUIs. They were my pregnancy posse and I am eternally grateful for them.

I’ve also managed to meet some great people through our clinic and it is so relieving to connect with people who are experiencing the same thing. They’ve helped bring a new level of positivity to the experience, and I know I am lucky because I did not have that in Toronto.

But Husband doesn’t have it. And it’s starting to make me wonder if he needs it. He’s been there every step of the way, and sometimes I feel like it isn’t enough what he does, but deep down I know I am so grateful for him, and any frustrations I have with him are because of the roller coaster I am experiencing myself.

Husband doesn’t have any siblings, and his parents live on the other side of the country. They were visiting us last week and left on Saturday. The entire time they were here, I kept dropping hints that we wanted more kids. They knew we had trouble conceiving my son. They knew there were a couple of mornings when I had to venture out before they even woke up so that I could go to the clinic.

And they NEVER said anything. I purposely left enough trail mix for them to hopefully go to Husband and see if he needed support. And they didn’t. They didn’t even bite. I didn’t feel comfortable coming right out and telling them to talk to Husband about it because it must be stressful for him too. I didn’t think I had to.

So now they’re gone, and Husband has no one. Sure he has his friends, but you know guys. They don’t talk about their feelings. And I try to be supportive, and show him how grateful I am, but I’m a mess of emotions myself.

And maybe Husband doesn’t need anyone – maybe he really can handle this on his own. But what if he can’t? What if he can’t and he’s not saying it?

How do you know if someone else is getting the support they need along this difficult journey?