Saturday, July 20, 2013

not again

In twenty-four hours...

a tire on our car exploded,
a broken/leaky sink made a serious mess,
we got bad news from the mortgage company which will likely delay moving for at least six months,
our stroller tipped over with Harriet in it (terrifying, but she's okay),
and my IUI (intrauterine insemination) was canceled.

I've never experienced a canceled cycle until now, and it has me a little worried. Was it my lack of sleep this month? Was it the fact that I didn't take my vitamins every day? Did I eat too much sugar? Was it the extra stress I've felt lately? Or maybe the drug's potency is just wearing off. We've been trying to conceive our second child for seventeen months now with four medicated IUI cycles (including this last failed cycle). Maybe this is just a sign that it's time to move onto something else.

Andrew wants to do one more IUI. It's not very expensive or invasive, so I tend to agree with him. The only problem is that I have literally zero hope that an IUI is going to bring us a baby. We have done over ten medicated cycles total, and none of them have brought us a child besides our IVF cycle. When we started trying to conceive our second baby, I had a ton of hope. I thought that we'd have success with IUI...I knew we would. I never expected that we'd be rerouting our journey through the land of IVF....again. But I'm not going to do IUI with injectibles. I don't feel comfortable with the risk of multiples and I don't like the financial cost to success rate ratio. IVF is much more appealing to me, especially since we've had success with it before.

But there's something about doing IVF a second time that leaves me feeling a bit unsettled. We were incredibly lucky to get a first chance at IVF. We were extra lucky that it worked. It feels a little excessive to do IVF again, and I am keenly aware that we are in the minority here. The fact that we were able to do IVF at all - let alone for a second time - is an immeasurable gift. I was in tears the other day while expressing the magnitude of this blessing to friends.

Beyond the logistical and financial aspects of IVF, I'm starting to worry about the physical toll it might take on my body. With our last IVF, I felt strong and resilient. I was extremely bloated (at the peak, my waistline was growing two inches per day). I found it difficult to breath. I was an emotional wreck. But I went about my life as normal and felt far from miserable. In fact, I got a tongue-lashing from a nurse for taking my dog on daily four-mile walks.

But I worry that IVF might be much harder on my body the second time around. When trying to conceive Harriet, I barely noticed that I was on clomid and metformin. While trying to conceive a second child, both of those drugs knocked me off my feet. For some reason, my body is much more sensitive, and I just can't handle the side effects like I used to. IVF medications are so much more intense than the oral medications I've been taking, and I worry about how they will affect my ability to function, especially since "taking it easy" isn't exactly an option when you have a toddler.

Speaking of Harriet, I'm fearful about how this process will affect her, especially since the appointments are constant. I will be away from her twice as much as I am now, and I already feel guilty about that. I don't want her to pick up on the emotional and physical toll IVF will take on me either, but she will. Of course she will.

Lastly, I wonder whether IVF will work for us this time around. Before Harriet, I responded well to the drugs every single cycle. I even got pregnant twice. This time around, my cycles are extra long, and as I said before, this last cycle was a complete flop. I've had to be on the highest doses of my oral medications in order to see any results. I worry that my doctor won't be aggressive enough and will just rely on our old protocol because it worked before. I plan to try to convince him that my body is different now, so we need to at least consider other protocols. But I have no idea what I'm talking about. It's just a feeling I have in my body. I want to listen to it because I tend to trust my body...a lot. But I also wonder if it's just my dreaded anxiety stopping by for a visit. We have a consult with Dr. C on July 31st. I've already started my list of questions...there are going to be a lot of them.

Thank you, friends, for all of your support. I have no doubt that you will all rally around me in this, generously sharing your wisdom and encouragement with me. You always, always do.

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