Lady in waiting.

So I’m in that odd period of time just waiting for my next period to start so we can get this FET show on the road. It’s both hurtling to me at a scary fast pace and also taking FOREVER to get here. Because you know, fuck you logic.

I feel like my husband and I have talked the previous cycle to death by now. We decided to move forward with the FET for our lone frozen embryo and if that fails, we’ll figure out if we want to take my dad up on his offer of an interest free loan to do another full cycle.

I’ve become somewhat detached to the whole process. I’m walking a very fine line between being optimistic and excited that this could be the cycle that gets us a baby and also being realistic and mentally preparing myself for a possible child free existence. Balance. It tips back and forth all day every day. If I dwell too much on the negative, I play with my dogs or hug my husband until I’m in a better place.

We’ve also been using this down time as a time to just reconnect a bit. A few days ago was the anniversary of our first date, 6 years ago. Oh man. If I knew then what I knew now. God. So much I wish I could tell past me. I honestly think this whole nightmare has brought us much closer than we ever were. There’s something about hitting rock bottom and having to pick each other up and keep going, right?

Anyway, our latest thing is that we signed up for Blue Apron – the meal delivery service. I had a coupon code and figured why the hell not? It’s actually worked out pretty cool. We usually NEVER cook together, it’s one or the other doing the cooking. But this has been a pretty nice way to just spend downtime together that isn’t watching tv or talking yet again about our failure in reproduction land.

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Teamwork, bitches!

Decisions, decisions.

Amazing how the potential life altering choices don’t go away when you take time away from the madness before starting FET prep, isn’t it?

I finally let my husband in on all of the insanity that has been swirling around in my head for the last few weeks since cycle #1 was a bust. It was really good for us. I let out all my fears and I ugly cried and he just held me. Good job, smart guy.

After breaking the news that the transfer wasn’t successful, my RE mentioned something I hadn’t even thought of. She asked if we had ever talked seriously about if we wanted more than 1 child in the future. Because, say we do the FET and (yay!) it works. I’m thrilled, yay baby. But logistically…that will be the only child we’d ever have. You’ve got the 9 months of pregnancy, then I’m sure I won’t even be thinking of another baby for at least a year. That’s almost 2 years before we’d even consider another round of IVF for baby #2. I’ll be 33 at that point, still youngish but we all know that sooner is better than later at this point. My egg quality is only going to go downhill from here. The absolutely highest count my husband’s SA ever produced was 300,000. In 2 years, there will likely be nothing left to work with. So if we seriously hope to have more than 1 biological child, it’s really in our best interest to skip the FET and go straight through to another full blown IVF cycle with the intent of banking more embryos. It feels wrong to be planning our second kid when we haven’t even secured the first yet but logically, I know it’s something to think about.

Now let’s add onto this pile of shit the fact that my husband basically has flat out said he has no intention of returning to this RE for another full cycle should we have to do one. He feels like with the money we paid, we weren’t given the best service. Stupid little things weren’t told to us and they all start adding up. Like, the day of the transfer, no one told me I needed a full bladder. And during the embryo hunger games, no one told me until day 3 that oh BY THE FUCKING WAY “our lab average is that 20% will make it from day 3 to day 5.” Yeah. Maybe should have mentioned that before, would have saved me quite a bit of false hope. The few other people I’ve talked to that have gone through IVF in the DFW area were horrified by that statistic. These ladies all have 5-10 embryos frozen while my RE acted like I should be super pumped that we only got 2/12 to day 5. There are a few more, those are just a few examples. Little things on their own, but when you start adding them up, it’s like well, if they didn’t mention these things, what else did they not mention that maybe could have contributed to the failure?

So. To recap. Husband = awesome dude to fall apart in front of. We have to decide if we want multiple kids before we even have one. And I don’t know how to go about finding a new RE or how to fire my current one should it come to that.

I’m so happy I can drink again.

I need a hug.

I had dinner last night with one of my favorite people on earth. I’ve known her for over a decade, we’ve lived together, we’ve worked together, and we still love each other.

She just had baby #3 a month ago.

So. There’s that. She’s one of the few people in my real life that know we’re going through IVF and infertility. She has been nothing but supportive because she has a small clue of what we’re going through. She and her husband tried for 1.5 years before they had their first IUI and then BAM. Twins. They assumed they wouldn’t get pregnant again without assistance, but surprise! Baby #3 arrived right around when the twins were 18 months. She tries to make our get togethers not be so baby-centric, but that is her world. I can’t and don’t fault her for that, but it gets awkward.

All of the people that know we are doing this are just so…optimistic. Everyone is SO SURE it will work. We will have a baby. Maybe 2, who knows. This whole infertility nonsense will be a blip on the radar of our lives and we will move past it and become happy parents just like everyone else.

But…what if none of that happens? What if it never works? What if we are never able to conceive and have a child? I need to be able to talk about that with people. I need to be able to be scared and not have someone just scoff and tell me that with that attitude of course it won’t work. And now my husband has thrown a wrench into all of this. After talking at length with his longtime friend that’s been down the IVF road (successfully), he’s suddenly decided he’s not 100% on board with our RE any more and that if the FET fails and we have to start over, he wants to switch clinics.

My mind has spiraled off into the future, assuming we’re never successful. How long do we try? Who will we hang out with? Every single close friend we have…has a child. We are officially out of people to spend time with that don’t have kids. It’s getting weird. We aren’t invited to the kid events because it’d be weird. They have zero time to join us for a kid free night, which I don’t begrudge them, though it is disappointing.

I am SUCH a type A person, it’s not even funny. I am a tax accountant, a CPA. I am obsessed with planning. The fact that our future is firmly in the “I don’t even fucking know anymore” category is beyond terrifying to me. We may have kids. We may not. We may keep trying, we may end up being that couple that fosters a crapload of dogs. I don’t know. And I hate it. I wish I could just know for damn sure if we would add to our family some day, whether genetically or by adoption, so I can just have a moment of peace.

I need a dang hug. And a drink.

A letter to my husband.

My dearest husband (he would roll his eyes SO HARD that they’d get stuck in the back of his head if he knew I called him this by the way):

The last 6 weeks of our life have been arguably the most intense and emotional days of our life together so far. Later this month will be 6 years since our first date that marked the moment we basically became attached at the hip. In December we will celebrate 5 years of marriage. Nothing in that time prepared us for the shitstorm that would be infertility.

You have handled this whole process the way that I can only dream of. Every piece of bad news we’ve gotten, you shrug and say that we’ll figure it out. You rarely voice the worst possible outcomes, and when you do you somehow manage to spin it in a positive way (side note: I simultaneously love and hate you for this character trait).

When I learned how to give myself injections, you were there making Pulp Fiction jokes. The night I gave myself the first injection, you were there with a bandaid and a hug. You mixed the menopur for me when my hands were shaking too badly to do it myself. And you would do it every night after that for the next 9 days because you wanted to feel a part of the process and you hated that I had to go through all this for something that was technically caused by a problem in your body. You were my biggest cheerleader.

You helped me through the retrieval process and catered to my every stupid whim that day. You picked me up off the floor where I lay crying a few days later when the full effects of the embryo hunger games were being felt and our 12 perfect eggs dwindled down to 1 (later 2) blasts worth anything. “We only need 1 to work,” you reminded me. You held my hand at the transfer because dammit if we were going to conceive a child, you were going to at least be touching me in some way when it happened.

You took it well when I teased you for freezing up when you had to give me my first PIO injection. You were so scared of hurting me, but you did great. You got used to it as the nights went on and by the last one, I barely even felt it.

You held my sobbing, mentally destroyed self 9 days later when we were told it was a failure. You said we would do whatever I wanted for however long as I wanted to make this happen.

I always knew you were this amazing man. I knew you would be the one to stick around. But the last 6 weeks have basically shown me the man that you are and I have never been so fucking proud to be your wife than I am now. You will be an amazing father, no matter how that happens. I wish I could give you a whole team of science babies, but I’ll settle for one.

There are not enough words in the universe to explain how lucky I am that you “winked” at me on Match.com 6 years ago and I said sure, let’s give this guy a shot. I love you so fucking much, SB. You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

Breathe.

I’ve been telling myself that repeatedly over the last 24 hours. Just breathe. You can’t change the shitty outcome of this cycle, but all hope is not yet lost.

I’m in a better space mentally today, so there’s that. I haven’t cried since this morning in the shower, and for that I believe I will treat myself to one GIANT glass of whiskey thank you very much.

We have officially decided to take a cycle off before moving forward, so I’m just waiting for my period to start so I can through a normal cycle. I spoke with my clinic today about money, and it was actually a pleasant surprise. A FET cycle will run us $2,820 plus meds, which they say will range from $300-800 depending on my dosage. Overall…not too bad. Plus we overpaid in the previous cycle for a TESE we ended up not doing, so hey, no complaints here. And to our HUGE RELIEF, they said that if the FET fails and we end up having to go through the full blown IVF cycle again, they offer a 25% discount on all their fees, which would knock the price of a cycle down by almost $4,000. I could have cried with HAPPINESS when the nurse told me that.

My RE call me about an hour later so say she was glad to hear we were taking a month off. She mentioned that she would be meeting with the embryologists at the lab to review my cycle and figure out what, if anything, went wrong and how we could have done anything different. Apparently they also want to discuss if they think the frozen embryo would even have a shot or if they would recommend just doing a whole new cycle. I don’t know how I feel about that, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. I kind of lost all my trust in the embryologists and a little bit in the RE when they kept giving me such optimistic outcomes.

My husband has been great. He swears he doesn’t blame me. He says we will do this until they tell us we shouldn’t or I decide that enough is enough. I wish he would show some goddamn emotion, but he never does in normal life, so I shouldn’t be surprised when he keeps a straight face through all this. He flat out said he would cry when they told us it was over.

I hope I never have to see that.

Big fat failure.

That’s me! A big fat fucking failure.

Negative beta, obviously. IVF #1 is officially a failure. My RE herself called. I like her a lot, but breaking this news was not her strong point. She mentioned multiple times that it had been a textbook perfect blastocyst. Thanks. So it’s clearly my piece of shit body that messed this whole thing up. If I can’t even manage to implant a perfect embryo, then I’m fucked for the FET with my “less than perfect” one.

I know it was stupid to get my hopes up. But I did. I hoped so badly that this would work. Odds were on our side. She gave it a 60% chance. Right now it just feels like we flushed $17,000 down the drain. Because we did. Literally.

She’s leaving it up to me to decide if we want to go straight into the FET cycle or to take a cycle off and then come back. I’m leaning towards taking a cycle off. Because I need to get my shit together emotionally and physically. I have felt so out of control of my body over the last month. I want myself back.

Calling my husband was the worst. The absolute worst. He was sad, kept saying that we would do this as many times as I wanted. I just kept apologizing to him. It’s my fault. All I had to do was let the little fucker implant. And I failed. He swore up and down that he didn’t blame me at all. But…I don’t know.

I ended up leaving work early because I just can’t concentrate right now. I just want my husband to be home with me because I have never needed a hug like I do right now. Luckily I have my dogs here and they are fantastic cuddlebugs.

So to recap. I feel like a failure that will never have kids (holy dramatic overreaction, Batman, right?). But I have this face to love on. So I’ve got that going for me, right? 🙂

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My dad is the best.

He made me cry today when we had lunch. Happy tears, I promise! It was a good day.

He’s been the only family member that’s been super supportive and that I’ve confided in throughout the IVF process. My mother knows about it, but she still thinks the whole thing is “bullshit” and that we just need to take a beach vacation and we’ll come home with twins. My dad, however, has offered us an interest free, pay back whenever we can loan to do another round of IVF (if we need it…optimism and whatnot). Which…wow. I just…I love this man so much and I’m so lucky he’s my dad.

Anyway. Onto the happy tears. So we’re talking about everything. He never pries, just asks how I’m doing and how my husband is doing and what our next steps are.

He says “I read in the paper the other day, this article about embryo adoption and how couples that can’t have kids try that instead of traditional adoption.”

“Yeah, we’ve talked about that,” I say. “That way I could still experience pregnancy. But the kid wouldn’t be ours genetically.”

“Well that would be alright,” he said.

This is where I lost it (hormones, people). “What if we never have a kid, Dad?”

“Then you’ll do something else great with your life. Didn’t you always talk about wanting to foster dogs? That could be rewarding. Or you adopt a child and we’ll all love it just as much as we’d love a grandkid that looked just like you.”

I mean really. How did I get so lucky? He’s doing research on embryo adoption for god’s sake. He just wants to be supportive of his daughter. I have some really awesome people in my life.

Side note. I peed on a stick again this morning (shut up). Still negative 7 days after transfer. So…I’m thinking this isn’t happening this go round. Who knows, maybe our little X-man is still in there somewhere and will make its presence known on Wednesday. I’m gonna ignore tomorrow and be in hopeful denial for one more day and then do a final test Wednesday when I wake up before my 8 AM blood draw.

But until then…today was a good day.

I caved.

I bought a pack of First Response Early Result tests. Today is 6 days past my 5 day transfer. It is the gold standard of pregnancy tests.

Big. Fat. Fucking. Negative.

I know it’s still early. I know I’m not officially out until the beta on Wednesday says I’m out. But this gave me the nice kick to the face that I needed to start preparing for the news that I will be part of the 45% statistic of failed cycles at my clinic. My boobs don’t really hurt any more like they did the first few days. I think all these cramps and backaches are simply my period trying to start.

Beta is Wednesday, so I’ll test that morning just to mentally prep myself. They’ll be breaking the news to me by phone call either way, so if it’s bad, I want to have the official meltdown at home before work instead of in the middle of the office. But if it’s good, I want my husband to be there. So either way…Wednesday awaits. God I want a drink so badly.

I am not a patient woman.

Who knew? Okay I did. But seriously. How has science not got its shit together enough yet to not make us wait nearly two weeks after an embryo transfer to see if we’re pregnant?? It’s like Schrödinger’s Fetus up in here. I am simultaneously pregnant and not pregnant at the same time.

I had the transfer on Monday. It’s Friday. I seriously wish I could just sedate myself until my blood test on Wednesday just so I could shut my mind up. The first three days were fairly continuous cramping, sort of like period cramps, but more intense. It’s calmed down today, I think I’ve only felt a twinge or two. Which of course sends my thought process directly to IT DIDN’T WORK. My boobs hurts, but that’s probably the progesterone. We’ve told our group of people that knows we’re doing IVF that we froze both embryos. Our (okay MY) thought process was that if/when the first transfer fails, we have time to get our shit together mentally to start again without having to constantly answer people’s questions on if it worked the first time, no matter how well meaning they are.

Nothing exciting here lately. Just continuing to take nightly estrace and baby aspirin along with a lovely little PIO shot. Hoo boy, those are fun. Although I think I had psyched myself up about them so much that they are truly NOT as bad as I thought they would be. I don’t ice or heat beforehand, I warm up the bottle by putting it in a mug of hot water for about 5 minutes, then I take all weight off the leg of the side we’re injecting.

The first night was kind of funny. My husband had never injected anyone before and didn’t think it’d be hard because (and I quote) “You’ve been stabbing yourself every night for 2 weeks and if you can do it, I can do it.” WELL WELL WELL. He must have stood there, eye level with my ass, for a good 10 minutes psyching himself up to just do it. He was shaking afterwards and I gave him a big hug and kiss and told him he did great. He’s gotten more confident as we’ve gone on. He said he now understood my complete meltdown the night of my first stim shots.

I AM VINDICATED. 

And also really. freaking. impatient.