Finding Our Way

which-way-to-goI’m not going to lie, these last few weeks have been rough. Really rough. In some ways, this failed IVF cycle hit me even harder than my last miscarriage. I know that might seem strange, but after our last loss, I still had so much hope. I knew IVF worked for us, and it seemed like maybe it was just a matter of time before we got lucky again. But let’s just say the last cycle and its accompanying diagnosis of DOR was a rude awakening. I’m not saying IVF can’t work for us, but it won’t be easy. Tim and I had to think hard about if we really wanted to fight this uphill battle to have another biological child. Because that’s what it is from here on out–a decidedly uphill battle.

So I did a lot of crying, a lot of feeling sorry for myself and, for lack of a less cheesy term, a lot of soul searching. Tim and I had several long, difficult talks. In the end, here’s what we decided.

There’s a limit to how much my body can deal with–I’m talking about the hormones, the poking and prodding, the minor surgeries, etc. I’m almost at my limit.

There’s a limit to how much our family can handle–the stress of endless appointments, injection timing, days off of work and in general putting our life on hold for treatments. We are almost at that limit.

There’s a limit to how much Tim and I can cope with the emotional roller coaster of hope and sadness, hope and sadness. We are almost at that limit.

We have a deep longing to parent another child. We will do almost anything to get there except ruin our marriage, destroy our financial future or negatively impact our relationship with the child that we already have. Do we have a deep longing to give birth to another child that looks just like Lettie? Nope. We want to parent. We want to share our love for life with a child. We want Lettie to have a sibling. These are the things that matter to us.

To that end, here’s our plan.

Because it is covered by insurance, we will do one more IVF cycle with our current doctor, likely in June. To prepare for that I’m taking DHEA and CoQ10 (both supposed to help with DOR). I’ve always read that you need to take these things for at least three months to make a difference, but my doctor thinks it’s still worth taking in the short term. She says three months is what’s been studied, so that’s why everyone says three months. Less than three hasn’t been studied yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help. There will be a new protocol this time, called micro-flare. It’s basically the last-ditch protocol for ailing ovaries. Birth control is typically used, but because of my blood clotting issue, my doctor says no birth control for me ever again. So we’ll do estrogen priming instead. Unless something crazy awesome happens (you never know), that’s likely it for us for fresh IVF cycles.

We will keep our phone consults with CCRM and Dr. Braverman next week. We’ve decided not to pursue CCRM beyond that call, but they might say something interesting that we can take back to our doctor. We may or may not end up traveling to NY to see Dr. Braverman for immune testing, depending on the cost with out of network insurance. We have decided that we will ultimately not pursue treatment with him, but I would still like to know if I have any immune issues (other than the one I already know about), should we decide to continue trying on our own or use donor eggs in the future.

If the fresh IVF in June doesn’t work, we will transfer our one remaining frozen blastocyst.

After that? We are all in for adoption. It’s time for a new chapter. We need to move on, and move forward.

We went to our first adoption support group this week. It was kind of great and kind of terrifying. It really put into perspective how long the process takes, and how much of yourself you need to put into it. It has just as much potential for heartbreak as infertility, but hopefully, at the end there will be another child. It’s not a sure bet–nothing is–but it’s as close as you can get in this world.

So here we are.

Still sad from all that has come to pass, yet steadfastly hopeful for the future, we find ourselves preparing for a whole new journey.

38 thoughts on “Finding Our Way

  1. I hate that you are in this position in the first place, but I wont dwell on that because it is what it is and there’s just no need. But, what I do want to dwell on is how awesome your thought process is and how great your plan is. I know not all plans go to plan perfectly, but I do know based on reading this, you guys are taking a very similar approach to what we did – focus on our marriage, ensure we stay on the same team and try on our own until it became obvious it wouldn’t result in a healthy child, then move to other options which for us meant adoption.
    Anyways, I wish you the absolute best as you move forward and I’m thrilled that you have a plan and you sound at peace with it. Love to you my friend!

    1. Thank you! It’s amazing, but I really do feel at peace with it. I feel like I’ve been fighting for so long, but now it’s starting to feel like I’m prepared to let what’s meant to happen, happen. I’m still scared about what’s to come, but I also feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. A little soul searching will do wonders I guess, huh?

      1. Soul searching is always an awesome activity for me – or rather, once I’m done it, I always look back at the thought process with appreciation.
        Sending you love and hope! I firmly believe that one way or another you will have the family you’ve been dreaming of!

  2. It’s times like these that priorities get really defined, which is one very small positive in the midst of chaotic sorrow. My thoughts are with you, big, huge, happy thoughts. I’m keeping you in my prayers, sweet friend.

  3. I am so happy for you, that you have a plan and are moving forward. Love and hugs from Long Island. XXOO

  4. It sounds like you guys are doing an amazing job of moving forward and dealing with an unimaginably awful situation. You’re being very methodical and clear-headed about the whole thing, which is really nice to see. You’ve got your priorities straight, you’ve set your limits, and you’re working towards your goals. I’m so sorry you have to go through all of this, but I’m so impressed with how you’re handling such a devastating diagnosis!

    1. Aw, thank you! I needed to take a step back and examine everything, but I kept fighting it. When I finally did it, though, I was like, of course, this is exactly what needs to be done. It feels good to have a plan and, most importantly, to have some peace. Xo.

  5. Bravo! That sh*t is tough to talk about…finding the strength to say “I’ve had enough” takes a lot of guts. But you did it and you have a plan not only to attain a goal, but to protect yourself and your family as you achieve it.
    Everything will be alright in the end. And if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.

    1. It is hard, right? I kept waiting for someone else to tell me when to call uncle, but nope — that one was all on me. I love that quote so much, one of my favorites!

  6. You and your husband are so smart to make sure you put your family first. I think that is so important. Sounds like you have a great plan moving forward!

  7. I’m glad to read an update, and most of all I’m glad you have both set limits and made a plan. Eventually you get to a point where you have to save your sanity – my husband admitted to me just before we signed up for last-ditch IVF that he often wished the whole ttc thing would just go away because he was tired of all the pain and heartache. It was affecting our marriage negatively, as well as each of us individually. I have a lot of faith in DHEA and CoQ10. I hope this time around IVF works, but if you face the worst, I think a positive decision already about adopting is a great step to take x

  8. Thanks, Faye! After a crappy couple of weeks, I am finally starting to feel peaceful about adoption and whatever else is yet to come. I hope that DHEA and CoQ10 gives my ovaries a nice little nudge!

  9. I’m sorry you’re going through this. This process is a roller coaster. It’s wonderful you guys have set your limits, and you’re thinking about what’s best for all involved. I hope this cycle is the last one you’ll ever need. Huge hugs!

  10. I so understand your sadness and being almost to the limit of what you can take, physically and emotionally. I’m there too. We’ve decided that if this upcoming transfer doesn’t work, we’re done pursuing more children. There will always be hope for a miracle but I’m done actively pursuing one. Prayers that this upcoming cycle brings your little one a sibling. ❤️

  11. You guys have obviously really thought this through and it sounds like a great plan. I totally understand where you are at. Hoping and wishing you have a dreamy and successful next cycle xx

    1. Thank you, Laura! I guess very few things ever look just as we expect, right? We just gotta keep going with the flow and have faith that everything is happening exactly as its meant to.

  12. So glad you have a plan! I always feel better with a plan and even though the plan might not follow the exact path you can just make another plan! I am proud of your courage and strength, its been an awful time for you but you really are an inspiration. I need my own plan now. xx

    1. Plans are so good, right? Of course, I’ve already veered from that plan, but so? It doesn’t matter so much what the plan is, just that there IS one. Of course, life always has the final say. I hope you’re doing well. Xoxo.

  13. My sweet friend, I’m sorry your journey led you here. Your heart has endured so much! But I’m pleased to hear that your heart is healing. I have heard the micro flare is like bringing out the big guns and it can produce great results. While you may not get a lot of embryos you can get better quality ones which in the end is what we want right? I’m so happy to hear that you and your hubby have such a loving relationship with each other but also in your love and desire to welcome another child into your family regardless of genetics. I think adoption is a beautiful way to add to your family. I have a couple of cousins that were adopted and one of them I love like a sister! You have a lot to consider in the near future but you just do the best you can and be gentle with yourself as you navigate through these paths. I’ll be praying for you. xo

    1. Thanks so much for this. It’s great hearing about your relationships with your adopted family members. I think you’re right, all we can do is the best we can do. Thank you for the prayers!

  14. I can’t help much with any advice for IVF since we decided not to go that route, but I’m happy to answer any adoption questions that I can if you end up going that route! Wishing you the best of luck with this next cycle!

    1. Thank you! I’m sure I will definitely be hitting you up with questions in the future. We are now trying to make a final decision on an agency. I want to get as much done as we can so that if this IVF doesn’t work we can just jump in head first.

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