Indecision is actually a decision

It’s nice to finally feel a bit grounded. The IVF folks had me do the “clomid challenge test,” and I don’t know if it was the medication that left me feeling so bizarre, or just all the enormous, gut wrenching, life changing news and decision making, but I’ve been a zombie for a week. 

My stats aren’t good, I guess, and the IVF doc doesn’t seem to think it would work, though she’s more than happy to move forward. There was another follicle on my left ovary, so 4 total after all that clomid, and I’m not sure what was happening on the right side. My day 3 FSH was pretty rotten, but day 10 was totally normal. Blood flow to my uterus is awesome. Somehow this all made her somewhat pessimistic. 

How are you supposed to digest anything after two hours of discussions and genetic info sessions, giving practically a pint of blood, and then having someone probe your ovaries and uterus and stick a catheter through your cervix just to see how it would go? I ask you, how are you supposed to even think to ask- “what makes you say you’d only get one egg,” when your bladder is screaming at you and you’re half naked on an exam table???

So, for nearly a week I did the following: I bailed on work. I spent inordinate time on the sofa watching “Damages,” (which is great by the way). I stared at walls and floors and windows and my step kids. I threw balls for my dog. I read 3 books. I couldn’t find a way to tell my loving and concerned husband what I was thinking and feeling because I couldn’t get a handle on it myself. I saw my therapist 3 times. I saw my acupuncturist twice. 

And then I woke up yesterday feeling somewhat normal, and by the night I was pretty good. Hooray! Nice to be back. I really think it was the Clomid; I’ve always been sensitive to meds. Which is what makes me think the doc is wrong about the one egg business. But that’s another story.

Ovulating today. A clomid ovulation. That’s how I was born! Maybe it’s fortuitous. Note to self: Spend some time writing about the rise of infertility. That’s interesting. 

Anyway. 

My husband and I had a date last night. We went to a quiet, sweet little French place, ate duck confit and beet risotto, drank a bottle of wine by candlelight, and talked things over.  We discussed IVF versus adoption. We talked about the various countries where one might adopt, girl or boy, how to avoid being involved in unscrupulous adoption situations. We hashed out the low probability of IVF success. We talked about adopted kids we know, and how it’s working. There were tears. There are so many ways to become a parent, so many paths to motherhood. 

And then I told him that I think I want to do both. I want to start the adoption process, and I also want to at least start the IVF deal. If it’s true that they can only get one little shriveled and deformed egg off my ancient ovaries then fine. Forget it. But I think I would always regret not trying. And I think they’re wrong. 

But also I think adoption is awesome. And I could see myself getting a couple months into the adoption process and deciding to stop the IVF nastiness. Forego the hormone shots and emotional agony. Decide that the baby I see in some photo is actually the baby that I’ve wanted my whole life. I can absolutely see that happening. 

So that’s where we’re at. We’re deciding to not decide. Not yet. Oddly enough, it is a huge relief to have made that choice. 

xo

Ivy

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mantra

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I spent the wee hours of the morning scouring the Internet looking for success stories from women in my situation. I woke repeatedly throughout the night, and finally for good at 5, with this sensation that can only be described as an aching heart. I needed to know more. I needed to have hope. If there’s one good thing about the Internet it’s that you can always find what you’re looking for. 

I wanted to find, and found, that yeah, my follicle count is on the low end and yeah, plenty of women (at least 4, hah) have had success with my exact counts. But the thing I realized, as I read forum post after forum post, is that this whole IVF process is just fraught with extreme news. News that makes you feel that all hope is lost, and news that leaves you elated and high on hope. It’s the hope, or lack thereof, that commands the ship. Are we going under? Or are we sailing sunny seas?

It’s crazy making. It’s like all those emotions I’ve felt over the last 18 months of trying to conceive naturally, compressed and distilled and fortified with something synthetic. 

Technology is astonishing. It’s almost too powerful- as if it has advanced beyond our ability to adapt. We can access all the world’s information in bed when we can’t sleep, and shape our understanding of reality to fit what we want it to be. We can make babies in labs and select for their “perfection.” We intensify our own experiences to the point where we can hardly bear them. 

I think I’m realizing that it’s critical, and I mean absolutely mandatory, that I figure out how to have the upper hand here. This does not define me. I must maintain my sanity in the face of this insanity. I must maintain my humanity as I take what I can from technology. 

No matter what happens, on the other end of this I’ll be the same me I’ve always been. And I’m ok with that. 

Or maybe this is just me, high on a little hope. 

Xo,

Ivy Eff

Ugh

So, there’s a chance that this could be over before it starts. I could change my blog name to “idonttryivf.” Can you even change blog names?

Had an ultrasound today to check out my budding eggs and there were only 6. That’s 3 on each side. I guess 10-12 is normal for women my age. I’ve had endometriosis and this is likely to blame. My mom raised me on leftovers warmed up in the microwave in a cool whip container. 

So, if my hormones are normal then we can proceed, but if they’re not then  my doc seems to think it’s unlikely to be worth it. She gave me this look after the ultrasound. I almost thought she was disappointed in me. 

Not really into the egg donor thing. 

Feeling pretty deflated. 

Xo

Ivy Eff

It all starts tomorrow. 

I just read an article about how writing actually improves your brain function and ability to deal with trauma. I couldn’t really discern if by “writing” they meant actually grabbing a pencil and paper and scratching out the words, or if typing on an iphone might do the trick, but I figure blogging can’t hurt. Tomorrow I begin the IVF process and I think this is going to be a doozie of a thing. 

My husband and I have been trying to conceive for about 17 months. Or at least that’s how long I’ve been using my fertility tracker ap. It’s hard to know when to start the “counting,” since he had a vasectomy reversal and supposedly it takes a year or so for the little swimmers to get back up to speed after that. In any case it seems like forever and I’m pretty beat. I’m a stepmom to his two kids, so it’s hard not to blame myself for our infertility. 

I’m now 41. Suddenly mothers everywhere look like children themselves. There’s the question of what right do I have to push the envelope on biology. And if I wanted a child so badly why didn’t I try sooner? If there’s a self-critical, self-blaming, nasty little comment about the position I’m in, trust me I’ve thought it.  I’m going to try to stay positive, but can’t guarantee anything except honesty.  

Tomorrow I get the first blood draw, and ultrasound. They’re going to look at my hormone levels and ovaries. The whole IVF process is mind-boggling; I’ve tried to read the forums but get lost in the language of abbreviation. I’ve read the articles but they don’t really help me feel prepared. It seems like maybe a journal of the day to day activities of IVF could help someone else someday, in addition to being my own outlet. 

So, I’ll keep you posted on how it works, and how it feels.

Knock on wood. 

xo,

Ivy Eff.