It’s All Led Up to This

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Tomorrow will be a big day for us. We have our appointment with Dr. M to discuss the next steps. So far as I know our clinic usually does 3 unmonitored IUI cycles (on clomid, using OPK’s to detect ovulation) and then will move onto 3 more with injectables and monitoring. We’ve done our first 3 IUIs but due to our MFI I don’t really think adding injectables or monitoring is going to help any. If the problem is not primarily with me, then I don’t see what good jacking up my ovaries even more is going to do. It seems like a waste of time and money.

But then on the other hand I think, “What if this (IUI) were to work?”. Do we try the less expensive, but less likely to work (based on % of success and our MFI) option a few more times, or just jump to the big guns which have a much better chance of working? I pretty much have my mind set on IVF but there is always that little whisper in the back of my mind, what if…When it comes down to it, I think if we were to try 3 more IUIs before going to IVF and none of those worked, it would push me over the edge. My mental well being can’t take 3 more IUI cycles, and if those all fail to have to do IVF on top of it all? I don’t think I have the strength.

Knowing what I do, about the fact that J has less than stellar counts, and poor morphology, I feel that IVF is the best route for us. I will ask Dr. M just to get his opinion on it, but unless he has strong reasoning as to why we should try IUIs again, I don’t think I’ll be convinced. I know doing IVF is going to be disruptive to our life, but if I had to do injectables and monitoring for IUIs it would be just as disruptive, and then we could very well end up doing IVF anyways.

I realize although IVF has a better percentage of success than IUIs, it is still usually less than 50% odds, which in most things in life would be really bad. At this point, I don’t want to have to think about doing more than one IVF cycle, but if we do I hope that the first time around we have enough embies to freeze. I also have a question of, what if we produce a lot of embies, and get our take home baby with frozen ones left? I am not comfortable with embryo donation (I don’t even know if that is legal in Canada?), but I would feel bad working so hard only to dispose of them. I know this is an ethical, spiritual question, and I don’t need to face it right now but it sits in the back of my mind.

There is so much swirling around, besides questions of our treatment moving forward. A bigger question is just about moving forward in general. We don’t even know what direction we’re headed in. We haven’t heard back from J’s work transfer opportunity, now a week later than they said we’d hear from them. I’m still not sure what to make of this. I think we are going to have to make the decision soon if we keep pursuing a job transfer/move, or if we decide to stick it out here, and go hard into IF treatment? If we stay here, do I stay at my current job, or take the other opportunity that I’ve been presented with?

I think everything is going to have to come to a head soon. We can’t just keep standing still waiting for life to guide us in one direction or another, we’re going to have to make a difficult choice. I think J and I will have to sit down and really discuss our options. We’ve sort of just been avoiding it for the moment, focusing on a job transfer that may never happen. We’ve both been waiting for our appointment with Dr. M because when a professional lays it all out, shit’s gonna get real.

So I’m sure discussion will ensue Monday evening. Our appointment is at 9am tomorrow, but then we both have to go right to work afterwards. Perhaps that’s a good thing, it will give us individual time to digest things before we come together to talk it over. I know J has very strong opinions about our IF treatment, but sometimes I feel like he doesn’t have the basis to be so firm in his opinions because it’s not him who has to go through this, physically. So we’ll see where that take us. Wish us luck!…or something.

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Well, I don’t really even know what I want to say at this point. Let me give you a run down of the days leading up to “The End” (for now).

As you all know, I cheated and tested on Sunday at 11DPIUI and got a BFN, but could have been too early (probably not in my mind). So anyways, J and I agreed that I would wait until Wednesday (14DPIUI) to test again. We were both pretty nervous in the days leading up, but managed to push it out of our minds, plus I was fairly certain it was going to be negative anyways. We went to the mall on Tuesday night, partially because I needed something, but also just as a distraction. It was a nice time killer, but I think J realized what I was doing in trying to distract because on the way out he asked, “Tomorrow is the day, right?”. As much as we both tried to put it out our minds we knew it was coming. That evening when I went to the bathroom before bed, I had a bit of a pink tinge on the toilet paper (I usually always have that before AF arrives).

When I got into bed, he asked my what I was thinking. And I told him, “you know, the usual”. I didn’t explicitly tell him about the pink tinged TP, but I told him I was almost certain that it was going to be negative, just based on what I was feeling going on in my body. I told him I wasn’t trying to be negative, but just preparing us for the most likely outcome. He nodded, but I could see that he was still holding out hope. We faced each other in bed, his eyes red, and filling with tears. Mine dry, and resigned.

Amazingly, I slept fairly well, and got up early enough to test before J went to work. I came into the living room where he was watching TV and he asked, “is it bad news?”, I just replied “yeah”. I went to him and we just stayed on the couch holding onto each other for a while. We didn’t really say a lot. We were mostly just trying to process it all, and think of what would happen now. I think he was trying not to breakdown, but as he left the house and said goodbye, his voice sounded hoarse, and I don’t doubt that he may have shed some tears by himself.

I went about my morning, getting ready for work, feeling numb, sad, angry and confused. I didn’t want to go to work, but staying home wasn’t going to do me any good, and quite frankly I had a lot to do at work. I figured it could be a good distraction, I was just hoping everyone at work would sense my mood and give me space. I pulled into the parking lot, and got out my phone to reply to J’s text. He asked how I was doing, I told him I was resigned to the outcome but it still made me really sad, and mad that this had to be so hard for us. That I thought no matter the outcome I would feel some sort of relief, but I don’t. He agreed, he thought it would be easier knowing, but it sucks.

He told me he loved me more than anything, and I told him I loved him too. I told him that even if someone had told me, in our first year of marriage, first year together, or whenever, that this was how our life together would go I still wouldn’t change a thing. He agreed, neither would he. Of course it was at this point that the tears started to brim in my eyes, but I had to blink them back and go to work. I didn’t get the space I had hoped for but I had a busy, distracting day and I got through it. J and I sort of stayed away from the elephant in the room yesterday evening. I didn’t know if it was too soon to start talking about our next move, or if we still needed time to absorb, but he broached the subject and we started to discuss the future (I’ll save that for another post).

Today I feel a bit less sad, but still really lost and confused. I thought it would be easy to move on, knowing this isn’t the end of our fertility journey, but it’s not. I don’t have to work today, but J did. He text me from work and told me he’s having a tough time today. It breaks my heart to see him this way. I think all along, these 18 months, I’ve been mourning each cycle, so once one is done I feel renewed with some semblance of hope for the next one. But for him, I think the months have compounded, and culminated into this epic feeling of failure, and despair and I don’t know how to help. This journey is experienced very differently between the male and female perspectives (or to be fair to same sex couples, the partner who is undergoing the treatment). I just don’t really know where to turn at this point.

The future is open to endless possibilities right now, which is both exciting and frightening. I do feel as though the TTC weight has been lifted, but right now we are under a blanket of sadness. Once we are able come out the other side, I think we will be able to look forward to a fresh start but right now it’s just a fresh wound. Or rather, the same wound that’s been picked open once again.

So now that I’ve sort of talked myself in circles, and haven’t solved anything, sorted out my emotions or made any decisions, I think I should leave it at that until I have something more poignant to say.