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Picking up the pieces

Posted by leigh14 , 09 January 2011 · 1531 views

My mind and body are still processing all that has transpired since my cycle. In many ways it was the perfect cycle--even for a responder like me who will never yield a large crop of eggs. I ended up with four mature eggs, all of which fertilized, and two blasts remained by Day 5. In the midst of the cycle, DH's dad died and on the day of the transfer we travelled hours to get to his family and attended the visitation and funeral. The entire time I wondered if my two little blasts could possibly be coping under the circumstances. They proved to be pretty resilient and, to my utter shock and delight, I received my BFP!

Fast forward to the first u/s when we learned that there were two babies there. One looked like an empty sac (later we learned that it was not, in fact, empty) but the other was viable, with a heartbeat but a little behind. It was not the most reassuring u/s and worry was in my heart and the doctor said that unfortunately it was going to be an anxiety filled Christmas for us as he anticipated that I would expel one sac and that the other baby might not make it. An anxiety filled holiday it was. I suffered from anxiety-related insomnia and honestly felt like I couldn't get more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time. I had some cramping on Christmas night and wondered what was going on but still I had no bleeding which was somehow reassuring. I managed to catch the most brutal of colds and couldn't take anything for it. I finally succumbed to taking Tylenol after getting a bit feverish, all the while worrying endlessly about my baby.

By the time the second u/s rolled around, I just wanted to be put out of my misery. I wanted to know what was going on yet at the same time didn't--a little like the feeling you get when you're in the 2ww at the beginning and you know you *might* be pregnant, afraid to take the test but wanting to do so so badly.
I read the technician's body language and knew that it was all over. I feel for the techs, I really do. How horrible it must be to have to try and keep a poker face when something is dreadfully wrong. But I knew. And then we met with the doctor and our worst fears were confirmed. Both babies stopped developing and it probably happened not long after my first u/s.

The next day I had a D & C consult appointment with a nurse. I was given the options of 1) miscarrying naturally which could take weeks 2) taking miscarriage inducing drugs or 3) having the D & C. By that point, I was resigned to the fact that this was the outcome that we were facing and I wanted the healing to begin so I opted for the D & C. The nurse was so lovely but I must say that having a D & C consult at the Early Pregnancy Clinic at the hospital is not ideal. Didn't anyone stop to think of how horrendous this is? The waiting room is full of pictures of babies and pregnant women, with their beautiful bellies strolling through. Just a little hard to take.

The actual procedure wasn't too bad although I was surprised at how crampy and sore I was when I initially came to. I had some bleeding initially but overall it hasn't been too bad physically. My DH and I seem to have very poor luck with timing in terms of family. His family doesn't know about our IVF attempts and we learned the day after the U/S that my MIL was going to be coming for a visit with DH's brother who is in the same area. When I heard this I just wanted to cry. I am SO NOT up for a family visit. She arrived today but has not been here yet. I am sending DH over to his brother's place for today to visit with her. I just cannot handle having to put on a smiley face right now. In a couple of days she will come over here and perhaps I'll be feeling more up to it.

I received a lot of support from my one sister who was in contact with me all last week checking in. My other sister let me down bigtime. When I went for my first u/s she never asked about it. In fact she told me she'd forgotten about it. Then I told her about my worries, the fact that it wasn't a very reassuring u/s etc. So she was aware (or so I thought) of how I felt. I thought I'd hear from her after my second u/s. Nothing. No text, no email, no phone call. I didn't call her with the results. I just wasn't in a talking mood but I would have responded if she had reached out to me. The next day rolled around and then the next. Finally on Friday I sent her an email telling her what had happened and telling her that I was having a D & C. After the procedure DH texted her that all went well with the procedure and that I was in the recovery room. She responded 45 minutes later with, "What???" She hadn't checked her email. DH told her to. Perhaps this wasn't the nicest way for me to handle this situation but I was MAD and still am. She seems oblivious to all that we have gone through and how important this is to us. She then texted my other sister to say, "Did you know about this?" My sister responded, "Yes, I've been communicating with her all week." So, perhaps there is a lesson here for my sister. I would like to think so but when I actually spoke to her she never apologized for being out of contact and she admitted that she'd forgotten about my second appointment. In the meantime, Sister #2 repeatedly asked what she could do to help me. She arrived on Sat. and cleaned my whole house in preparation for my MIL visit. And just having her here was so, so nice.

My first order of business is to try to get "me" back. Somewhere along the way, I have lost myself in this IF business. The primary goal has been (and still is) to have a baby but I have realized that I cannot let all other aspects of my life disappear in the process. I do not regret going through IVF and in my heart of hearts I remain optimistic that I will be a mother but I do feel robbed of "me." For example, when I look in the mirror these days, I don't even recognize myself. I have put on substantial weight from this process (20 pounds in two years). I think it is from the hormonal shifts. I need a concrete goal to get myself back into the shape that I was once in. Ladies, any tips? Please comment or PM me!!!

And I need to refocus at work. Two years ago my boss wanted to nominate me for a significant award. I asked her not to because I knew that it would be hard for me to maintain the workaholic level that I would need to while doing these treatments. I don't care that I missed out on this opportunity (well, maybe a little) but I do care that I am not the professional that I once was. But I will try not to beat myself up about this too much. It is only possible to handle so much at once.

My relationship with my DH has also suffered. Everything has been about appointments, protocols, needles, procedures etc. He and I need some time to just be "us" and figure out where we go from here. And, if we are going to go forward with this stuff, we also need to do a little financial juggling to prepare for our next move. This feels like a very expensive game of chess.

It is too early yet to make any decisions regarding next steps but I will say that it is very hard to step back from this IVF world with all the promise that it holds, especially after having been so close to achieving our goal. I suspect that in time we will try again but I'm 39 and time is a tickin'. We know that we can afford to take a little break (a few months, certainly not a year) but not much more than that. And is it stupid to try again with my own eggs? We had two blasts put in that attached and began to develop into babies. But, there was obviously something wrong with them---both of them. Is this indicative of bad eggs or just bad luck? At this point, the doctor said that this is most likely a case of age-related bad luck but who really knows? On the positive side, it's clear that my body is able to hang on to a pregnancy. There is a part of me that thinks that I need to seriously consider egg donation as it would most likely increase our chances of success. But is it too soon to go this route? This last IVF attempt really felt like our first real shot as our previous cycle was with a different clinic that, in my view, really screwed up my cycle with a crappy protocol.

Any thoughts, suggestions, comments or opinions? What would you do? How do you pick up the pieces and begin to formulate a plan for a next step when the time is right? And how do you know when the time is right?

Jan 09 2011 04:36 PM
hi leigh... i'm so sorry for your early loss.. i remember being in your shoes (2x now), and it's just so devastating. my heart is hugging yours right now. so i have DOR, and had a miracle pregnancy in 2008 after the strongest protocal cycle (450 ui gonal f daily), and i only yielded 2 large follies (3 other puny ones showed up at the last minute). . so despite their rec to move to donor eggs, we went to ER, and i got pg.. i lost it at 12 weeks.. the point i'm getting at- is for me, this experience gave me so much HOPE that i could get pg again, and with my own eggs too... the RE's even said that too (they changed their minds from the ED recommendation).obviously, it was devastating too.. my sister was stupid also. phoned me and complained about our dad, and didn't even say 'i'm sorry'.. i came to the conclusion that she didn't know how to handle it- so like many, she just handled it poorly.so i'm not suggesting you 'should' do anything- stick with your own eggs, or not.. but what i'm suggesting is that you do what your heart compels you to do.. i agree with your doc, and i've researched it too.- your loss was probably just a standard MC related to your age, does NOT mean you're destined to MC again.. BUT YOUR BODY GOT PREGNANT- WITH YOUR EGGS. don't forget that. so if your heart compels you to try again,- with your eggs, i say DO IT. if moving to egg donor would be easier for you - DO THAT..the other think i'd suggest is giving your visiting family some 'version' of the truth that you're comfortable with, just so they know something... it's too hard to hide when we're heartbroken.. if you tell them that you're struggling or had a MC (you can leave out the IVF part if you're uncomfortable)- they'll give you more space, more love, and have expectations of your visit that will be better for all.best of luck to you and may PEACE AND HOPE rest in your heartor you asked for suggestions- try DHEA.... for many (but not all) with DOR- it helps remarkably. i had my son after my 3rd IVF where i took DHEA.. that's the best i've ever responded to treatment.. i made 9 eggs. and more importantly, 1 beautiful boy.
First off - I am so sorry for your losses. It's terrible and yes, as you know, I have been there. I will PM you my responses. But just wanted to tell you - you are not alone. Give yourself rest, peace, quiet and maybe 'fake' a migraine if you need to go upstairs to lie down during your MIL visit. Focus on yourself, say 'no' ALOT and do whatever you need to do to remain calm and sane. The present time is not about pleasing others. Lots to talk with you about. j
Sorry, no advice to offer as I haven't really figured out how to pick up the pieces myself, I'm just surviving one day at a time. But I can offer(hugs) and say I have faith in you to figure it all out in time. xoxox
Good Fortune
Jan 09 2011 05:30 PM
"You feel sorry for the techs" - you're such an angel Leigh, I think I love you.I have no suggestions today I'm afraid, on account of being a little strung out myself, but know that I think you're a thoroughly good egg!
Jan 09 2011 05:45 PM
I am so very sorry for your loss. I just wanted to say that I thought your blog was beautifully written. I think it expresses many of the emotions and thoughts that run through many of our minds. I know that I have not experienced as much as you (as I have yet to start IVF - early this year will be our first attempt) but I have experienced a M/C. Mine occurred on the second last day of school (I'm a teacher) and I still grieve that loss everyday and spent about a month on the couch wondering "why?". You strike me as a very strong person. I encourage you to use that strength to be able to follow your heart....but also take time to take good care of yourself. You need that.
Jan 09 2011 06:20 PM
Leigh, you made it through the worst. You have come so far and you are doing so well so just keep going. I'm glad the procedure was uneventful but at the same time so sorry you had to go through it. ((Leigh))
Your story just breaks my heart. It sounds like you are already starting to heal by reflecting on everything (past and present). Your strength is inspiring. I don't have any advice, but my thoughts are with you. ((hugs))
Wishing you continued strength and sending hugs
it's really not fair what we go through, but some reason we just become stronger, and I hope you will too.I lost my baby a few months back and still there not a day I don't think about it, I am sure it will be same for you. it will take much longer then you think to heal, and then will you be healed at 100%, probaby not. So take one step at the time, don't forget you DH in the process, he is suffering as much as you do, I did this and am regreting my actions and behaviour so much, now that I am "me" again.I find doing things help me, set up projects, get together with friends etc. take a break from IF, from everything related to IF and babies, you will feel so much better. At least this helped me.As for losing weight, you are always welcome to our WII Fit thread, we share wii fit stuff but all the other excersies as well, we have a great support group going.Take care of your self hugs
I just wanted to send you some (((hugs))) and let you know I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I wish I had some good advice, but only you can know what's right for you. Is it possible (financially, emotionally) to try another ivf cycle with your own eggs to see how things go? While time may be ticking for trying with your own eggs you have much more leeway to consider if you want to move forward with donor eggs. As you said this was your first cycle with a new doctor/clinic and it went so much better than with the previous clinic/doctor. I truly wish things had turned out differently. If it's feasible to try again with your own eggs before moving on to donor eggs it may also give you time - time to research donor eggs, start the process, etc. If you do move on to donor eggs trying one more time with your own eggs may also give you some closure regarding using donor eggs before moving to that option. (((HUGS)))
Jan 09 2011 08:47 PM
Leigh,My heart goes out to you. I have followed your story for a while and at times felt like I was on the roller coaster with you. My only suggestion would be to put off making any decisions about next steps until you've had some time to process and grieve this loss. Start little by little with reclaiming yourself and the things you really enjoy doing. Focus on things you can do for now. Buy some fun clothes/ shoes. Pamper yourself. Set some non-TTC goals for yourself Re: weight loss and getting fit. Maybe you'll start a new hobby or join a group activity? Take your hubbie on a date night. Once you feel like you've found yourself again, then it may be time to tackle IVF again. ((HUGS))-SD
Jan 09 2011 09:15 PM
Thank you for sharing your story. It resonates with many of us and my heart bleeds for you. I wish you peace and strength as you process this loss and start the path to healing. I hope you find yourself again and time heals this open wound. Take care of yourself and your DH and do whatever you need to do to feel better.
Hi Leigh,IVF is such an emotional rollercoaster for sure. My thoughts are with you as I have experienced your same emotions. ((Hugs)). I'm PMing you if you are interested. Anne :lol:
I'm so sorry Leigh. ((HUGS))Sending you tonnes of good vibes and hoping you figure out what's best for you in time.
I have a huge lump in my throat. I can relate to what you said, especially " in my heart of hearts I remain optimistic that I will be a mother but I do feel robbed of "me." For example, when I look in the mirror these days, I don't even recognize myself. I have put on substantial weight from this process (20 pounds in two years)." I had one miraculous pregnancy after years of trying and just knew (at 7 weeks pregnant) at the u/s that my uterus was empty (ectopic). I have not yet healed from that, and a failed ivf to add to it... It is VERY HARD to pick up the pieces. I gained 60 pounds in 2 years! I am still in the process of healing, and battling depression. Just try to remember that tough times don't last. Tough people do. :lol:
So many things in your blog spoke to me - the toll IF has taken on your relationship with your husband, the fact that you don't feel as 'on the ball' at work lately, how you feel you have lost yourself in your quest to be a mother, the weight gain that comes with the hormone cocktails and depressed feelings while cycling are the ones that I empathized with the most. Thank you for sharing.I hope you will be granted the time, space and support you need to heal in the coming weeks and months. I could just not imagine having family visit at this point...unreal.
Leigh, what a gut-wrenching month you have had. I can't imagine.My 8w u/s is Thursday and I pray for the best but expect the worst, KWIM? Infertility does that to a person.Keep your head up, one step after another, one day after another.((hugs))
Just wanted to say I'm thinking of you!I am in that point as well where I feel like I lost myself in this process and everything seems to be a one way road. What happened to the fun road, the girls night out road, the library trip roads that didnt include any "how too" books........im with ya!
Jan 12 2011 02:17 PM
Oh, Leigh... I feel like we're following the same path... I don't have any suggestions as to next steps, as this is all new for me and I'm processing what happened to me still. In the meantime, I hope you and your husband have some quality "us" time and that you're doing ok.

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