Thursday, February 4, 2010

Out of the mouth of babes...

One of my Mom-blog friends wrote a post with the same title and it made me think about my own 'mouth' when it was a 'babe.' Not as in a hawt babe but as in an IF babe. OK, not in that way (what? stirrups and wands and follicles aren't sexy? who knew!) but meaning when I was just starting out on the journey. Before I blogged I had to write it all out somewhere and I did on an online support group's journal feature. Thankfully, I have all of those journals because frankly, I wouldn't believe they were mine if I didn't have proof I ever thought that way! Sheesh indeed.

So for your amusement, check out the journal I wrote after the first fertilization report I ever received. I will highlight in a different color the ironies of that post....

Well, out of the eleven only six were mature. This makes me very sad. Five fertilized. I know that's not bad, but I guess I was hoping for a nice big number so we could make a day 5 transfer and also maybe have some to cryopreserve. I really want to have two children (I can't imagine my child not having a sibling since I'm so incredibly close to my own) but at this point in time, I cannot imagine doing this again. I think every few days all these emotions just catch up to me and I get really upset. When my RE called personally to tell me the news and said he was disappointed in the lower number of mature ones, it really got me down. I know it only takes one.... I just feel like my body continues to perform at less than stellar performance. And I was having such a good day...

Are you laughing yet? Well you should be. I was an idiot at that point. Why was I using the word "cryopreserve" instead of just "freeze?" Oh well. That girl back then couldn't imagine doing IVF again, because really, if someone had told me I'd do five and end up with nothing I would have probably shot them, or myself. And IVF babe, you didn't know anything about being 'really upset' or what feeling down feels like.

A couple of points: our first two IVFs had good fertilization rates. Granted, low numbers of mature eggs but I think that was a stim/protocol problem. I do not understand why my fertilization rates tanked on IVFs 3 and 4 and somewhat on 5. I have my theory, but it just makes me sound like a nut who can't give up.

Oh wait, I am a nut who can't give up.

I had another point but it escapes me.

I feel some major Valentine's Day baking coming on...

If you could go back and meet yourself pre-IF treatments, what advice would you give your babe-self?


  1. First I would tell myself not to go to the big fancy clinic in the city. And second, that all of your tests looking good on paper does not guarantee you a baby, so be REALLY aggressive with treatments. Idiot.

    Great post LC, you rock.

  2. Wow - first, I am not laughing, it makes me angry and sad. As you probably know, we did IVF 3.5 times before switching to DS IUIs - I would have never guessed we would be creating our family from DS at that time. Or that I would have done IVF more than once. I was not going to be "one of those women".

    I think I would tell myself not to do anything differently - we had to walk the paths we did in order to get here and although I am not religious - I do believe that these two were meant to be our children for whatever reason - but that I would try to take better care of myself and my husband during that time. I would not have given up working out, I would not have avoided friends and family (as much - I think some distance when needed is healthy) and I would have tried to be gentler on myself.
    I really admire you and the work that you are doing - you are an inspiration.

  3. What a great question- I would tell myself to skip the IUIs and go straight for the big guns. I would trust all my instincts and not blindly believe what I was told. I would have started trying earlier. I would have done some amazing things with DH before all the craziness started. I would have changed a lot.

  4. My dear friend, I wish you were still an idiot (said affectionately in reference to your I was an idiot at that point. I wish you didn't know anymore than what is in that journal entry because that first one had worked.

    What advice would I give? I think I had to go through everything I did to get to where I am at now (for better or worse. A couple of my lessons learned would be to question more... I would also tell myself to try to find a way to keep living and to not put things off for that "what if" moment...because it may never come.

    Great post!

  5. i would certainly have skipped the IUIs as third IUI was probably the most excruciating pain ive ever felt in my life. all of them were also a serious waste of time, money and emotion.
    i used to belong to a "pre and post baby" website *gag* and on my profile i put "avoiding IVF at all costs!!"
    what a dork
    one thing i am glad about it not paying my original RE the $12,000 he wanted for IVF and finding an RE with more experience, a higher success rate, and an affiliation with a teaching hospital, all for 3/4 less $$.
    no baby, but hey i could be in the poorhouse on top of that.

  6. yeah, I have the golden child. What would I have done differently? Taken more sick time to do treatments, so that I wouldn't stress out so f***ing much, I threw my hormonal balance even more out of wack than it actually is. Now that I have Baby, I have cervical mucous that can hold a spoon up. I have to wonder if some low grade xanax would have helped relaxed me just as much. Yo no se.

    Powerball numbers anyone?

  7. I would have told myself to stop being so afraid and in denial about having IF...although I don't know if I would have gotten to the point where we spent >$100K on treatment any faster. Some of these lessons we have learned along the way we only learned when ready so I don't know if I would have listened anyway.

  8. Oh, it's sad how much this journey changes us. Too bad we can't go back to being the naive, optimistic babes who so thought that one cycle of IVF would do the trick. I don't know about you, but my three years on this journey have turned me into a bitter, angry, unsocial bitch - someone I don't like at all. If I could go back, I would tell myself that even though it's hard to cough up the money to pay for all the treatments out of pocket like we had to, it is so worth it to go ahead and pay a little more up front to cycle with a high quality clinic and high quality REs rather than going with a clinic that's a little cheaper - in the end, you end up paying a ton more and wind up with nothing to show for it. And, I agree with Lost in Space and would tell myself to continue to live life to the fullest and go ahead and do everything rather than thinking - well, I might be pregnant then.

  9. No, you're not a nut who can't give up. Truth is, if money weren't a factor, you WOULD succeed - next time or the one after. Now, if you were 45 and had no success after 5 IVF's, I'd think you were doomed no matter how many more cycles you did, 'cause at 45 you gots no more eggs, ya know? At your age, you have plenty of eggs coming still. It's just finding a robust crop. Unfortunately, it takes obscene sums of money to stay the course.

  10. Ha! Since you asked this today, and I'm not in a great place today, I'd probaby tell my non-jaded IF self to skip right to plan B, don't look back and buy a new car with the $20k+ we spent on failed treatments.

  11. I wish I had done more research and then gone straight for the big guns. I wish I had gone straight to a really serious RE and been more demanding about what I wanted. I was wimpy about the whole thing because my husband was in shock about the costs and I was in denial about the problems.

    I think the time spent on treatment correlates directly with the emotional fallout from failure. If I could have saved myself those years of frustration and self-doubt, I may have been a better mother, a better wife, and a better friend. I lost a lot of myself to my own second-guessing.

  12. The one thing I would tell myself is to not say "I'll never _____" because sure enough, most of the time I ended up where I thought I'd never be.

    I think my answer is different because we succeeded. I wouldn't trade another child for BabyHope, which means that it had to happen the way it happened.

  13. I wasn't laughing when i read your earlier posts from DS.. that's what you were feeling at the time- and at the time it was very real to you no matter what the future held. i know it seems "naive" and "idiotic" to you, but it really wasn't in my view. I wish you had a different outcome.. and i think that's why i still read your blog.. I know your time will come one day- and I just want to see you through it. sofia

  14. I was just reading my own first posts - and thinking the same thing about myself. If I could talk to that naive person, I would have said - GO GO GO!!!! Do not wait for a sign, or the right time, or whatever - we might not be using DE right now if we had. But Even with 3 failed DE cycles, I would have said, go for the out of town clinic - (looking back, although who could have known) use a PROVEN donor, I do believe the donor pool here has resulted in at least 2 of my failures.

    I wish I could look back on things and feel like I did EVERYTHING right - better exercise, eating and mental health. Now I am just questioning my whole journey - sorry this comment is such a downer!

  15. Oh wow, that must feel really strange to revisit that place - which WAS a hard place - but with so much more experience under your belt, and having been to so many other hard places.

    We didn't do any medical stuff (because it wouldn't have helped) but I've been thinking about what advice I would have given myself when I was just a 'babe' at all this. I think, to be honest, it would probably be 'don't kid yourself that race is unimportant in adoption'. I think that's been my biggest change when I look back at myself and think 'who WAS that person???' LOL - I expect I will be the only person with that as my piece of advice to my former self!!

  16. Love this post ~ I have thought about this many times myself. I would have insisted more with my husband that there was a problem, I would not have spent the $6K on a bio-identical hormone doctor when I was in denial of our issues, I would have only gone through 3 IUI's instead of 5, I would have learned more about being pregnant with identical twins and what that really means. I would have prepared myself for a possible m/c.
    I do have to say that there is something about being niaeve that is self preserving though. I'll never forget the morning of our first IUI, I was running around the house singing "It's baby day!" Oh how silly I was...

  17. I would tell myself to let go of the dream of conceiving a baby in the bedroom and either move forward with treatment or give up on conceiving until such time that I do. The living in limbo believing that magic was going to happen was a self-inflicted pain I didn't really have to live.

  18. You are not a nut. I think someday your mother self is going to want to look back on your present self and tell you to keep on truckin' cause somehow you're going to get there and it's going to be frickin wonderful when you do.

  19. I'd tell myself not to waste $50K on Beverly Hills clinics and my own eggs and would have headed to Europe asap. And to get more testing on my husband's sperm DNA early, not after 4 failures. Semen analysis results just don't give enough info.

  20. You are NOT a nut!

    This post breaks my heart. But you ARE. NOT. A. NUT. How in the world were you to know what would become of all this???

    And why *should* you give up? It's not like you're trying out to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and keep getting shot down, eventually realizing that you just weren't meant to wear those skimpy outfits. You're trying for a FAMILY. I can't think of a more worthy goal worth throwing your heart and soul at.

    I'm still very much an IVF "babe", but I already feel jaded. Already find it very difficult to muster up this thing called "hope." At this point, I can't even fathom making it to retrieval. My wish for my post-IVF self is that my current-IVF self shouldn't have been such a downer. =)

  21. I really can't think of any advice I would give myself. Maybe just that 1) the shots are not the hard part and 2) don't beat yourself up for what you can not control. I'm still working on that last one.

  22. I would have insisted on a lot more immune testing upfront.

    I wouldn't be afraid to buy my meds from other infertiles rather than spending a fortune on meds at a US based pharmacy.

    I would insist on the protocols I know worked for me.

    I would have seen a micro surgeon to try to repair my tubes, rather than having them removed. Removing my tubes forced me into only relying on IVF and not my body. This was terribly heartbreaking for me and I regret not exploring other options.

    I would have made more time in my life for living.

    I would have tried to understand that my former DH was doing all he could to support me through my IVFs...but we parted all the same.

    I would have worked harder to find a job with IVF benefits when I was younger so that I wouldn't have blown my savings trying.

    I would tell myself to not be so arrogant as to think I would get pregnant my first time. To think, "I won't be in the BFN group. I'm different." The body-wracking crying that I went through with my first BFN was just the beginning.

  23. I would tell my former self to have as much unprotected sex as I want, right from the start. :)

    THEN I would have pressured my RE to test me for bloodcotting testing - damn the $1500. Sheesh, that's nothing compared to re-doing treatments. AND I would have asked for IVm testing up front.

    Sometimes I do wonder what my life would be like now if this had worked sooner. There are changes I'd probably appreciate, and others that I can't fathom making. I guess, in a way, it's good we can't mess with the past.

    OH... one more really important thing... I actually was the one that figured out the thrombophelia problem, not my RE. I found the answer while I was still a newbie. I got the idea from a blogger that was taking the long road through the IF jungle. If she hadn't blogged, hadn't shared, I wouldn't be a Mother.

    Please keep sharing!