Thursday, September 26, 2013

WTF Time

So, we met with Dr. Tran yesterday for our regularly scheduled WTF appointment and we told him where we were.  He told us that we are far more rational than many people on this journey, which I think he appreciates.  It also means, though, that he won't get to take us all the way to pregnancy, necessarily, which I think he really believes eventually he could do, if we had infinite money and time and emotional and physical ability to do this, testing all of our options (including donor eggs, surrogacy etc - each of which would be a real and expensive test, because we don't actually know if the problem is with our embryos or with my uterus). Ultimately, though, he wants what is best for us, and I think appreciates that we realize the limits that we've hit and he also acknowledges that he is at a loss - that whatever is going on with us is beyond what medicine and science have yet figured out.

I am ready to be a mom, and I am ready to be done with this process, after this one final transfer.  I do think that while Ian has become more and more and more ready to move onto adoption, I have become more accepting of one more transfer being what is best for us both.  We are, as usual on the same page.

So, Ian and I, prior to going yesterday, looked at timelines for things to decide when to do our last Frozen Transfer.  I was recently appointed to a super exciting committee (the Caldecott Committee, for those who know children's lit).  This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime, so we wanted to plan so that if this cycle miraculously worked, I wouldn't miss my required conferences.  We also need to plan around our travel schedule, and our financial situation.

Because this block of text is too much a block of text, I present to you this small picture of a tiny pig!  TINY PIG!

ANYHOW.  Initially, all of this was making it look like spring would be our best option, but we really don't want to walk into the adoption process with one foot still in infertility treatments and we also don't want to delay everything for so long.  So, we found a window much sooner, and are going to go with that (beginning of December for transfer - lots of me taking shots during my time in Ohio for Thanksgiving as per the usual) .  The UCSF lab closes on December 15th, so Olga (the nurse) is, as I write, making a calendar that takes into consideration my travel and that closure.  I just got off the phone with her, and she'll call back in 30 minutes to go over it.  (Oh, the things I talk about at my desk at work, with Tom on one side of my cubicle wall and Adam on the other.  I'm sure they just love it!)

Our plan, in regards to this timing, is to continue to look closely and deeply at our options regarding adoption in the meantime.  We have talked to some amazing people, and signed up for some info sessions at agencies.  I'm still working on other posts that get more into all of this stuff and what we are doing with it.  Anyhow, we plan to have all of our ducks in a row so that when this FET fails (I can't bring myself to say if it fails) we are ready to exit this world, and enter the world of domestic newborn open adoption with open hearts and excitement and information.

So, back to our WTF appointment yesterday.  Dr. Tran presented us with a few options, including two potential new additions to our treatment.  Both are brand new, barely tested and a shot in the dark.  One of them involved another biopsy for me, and fighting back tears I explained that I am done torturing myself physically, especially with such limited evidence of outcome.  So, that is off the table.  The other, though, involves an extra nightly injection in my stomach, which ironically, at this point, barely feels like a big deal to me.  So, we're going for it.  Why not?  Money is the only downside - as it is not super cheap.  There was the option to do it via a trial, where everything would be free, but it would involve a full fresh cycle, and again, I am done with the things that I now consider torture - and an egg retrieval counts, as does having to be there nearly daily in the middle of the day for blood draws when my sick leave reserves are so low.  Also, even without all of those issues, in the study we could be randomized into a control group where we don't even get the drug.  So, we are going to pay for the drug, which is G-CSF.  And this is it - this is all we know.  20 people.  Not science yet.  Being in the study would've been nice, not just because of the money savings, but also because then we are helping science, but I feel OK being a bit of a guinea pig this way.  We went all out on the IVF cycle and I am willing to go all out for this last FET for all the same reasons.

(For nerds like me, I think I found the study here.)

Also, we are transferring 4 embryos this time.  Dr. Tran did not appreciate our joke about quadruplets.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So Much to Say, So Little Written

I have so so much to say, and have not written any of it here.  Believe me, I've started, and I'm sorry for those who care and are waiting.  I've started posts about the following:
  • Trauma and PTSD and Infertility and how I am feeling re: further treatments, my body, my emotions etc.  Our plans and why.  
  • Adoption Thoughts - What we are doing right now, where we are, our basic thoughts/plans
  • Adoption and Morals/Ethics - This is more about what I'm discovering and thinking about re: adoption and less about the who what where why when how
So, keep an eye out and I'll try to get some time to get them written.  We're heading out of town for a weekend of much needed relaxation time with awesome friends and the next weekend my parents are visiting, and work has been busy, as has life.

In general, though, I'm feeling mostly positive about the future.  I'm also mostly feeling, which is a contrast to the mostly not feeling I've been doing lately.  For better or worse.

More soon.  <3 you all.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

No Miracles Here

I'm not going to hit post on this until I hear back from the doctor's office, so you can assume that if you are seeing this, there was no great miracle (not that I expected one, but I know some of you did).

Another day, another blood test when I already know the result is negative.  At least this specimen box still amuses me every time.  

So, here's where I am:  I no longer believe that Assisted Reproductive Technology can fix whatever is wrong with me and that this is the way that I will become a mother.  I just don't.  I've hit a wall with it, and I hit it hard.  I can't imagine the world in which all of these negatives, when we are doing everything we can, will suddenly turn into a positive. I am tired of it.  I'm tired of the physical pain, the emotional torture, and of failing and failing and failing over and over again.  I find no hope in my heart when I think about continuing down this path and I am starting to really fear where it will lead me emotionally. I've been doing a lot of reading about trauma, PTSD and infertility and am recognizing some things in myself that are a bit scary and that are not improving the longer this goes on.  I will write more about this in another post at another time.

I was reading, the other day, this article on the Resolve website about how to know when it is time to move onto adoption and right at the beginning of the article is this paragraph (emphasis theirs):

Making that leap from infertility treatments to adoption is not to be underestimated. But how do you know when it’s time? Most adoptive parents say that they wish they had done it much sooner instead of wasting significant time and money on unsuccessful treatments. But they are speaking as happy parents with 20/20 hindsight. The turning point for many couples is when they realize that they would rather be parents than be pregnant. Often, around this same time, is when the idea of adoption begins to no longer seem like the next step in a series of failures, but rather the first step in an exciting journey that will end in success.  When you can embrace it in those terms is when you are emotionally ready to begin.

It just struck me.  I read this part again and again and again and I called Ian and I read it to him:
Often, around this same time, is when the idea of adoption begins to no longer seem like the next step in a series of failures, but rather the first step in an exciting journey that will end in success. 

I almost cried when I read that.  I am so tired of a series of failures.  So tired.  Suddenly adoption feels less like a consolation prize and more like a taste of hopefulness.  With adoption, I can be a mother.  With the path I have been on so far, I can not.  So, I think that's where I am.

I know it's not that simple.  There is a lot to process, there is a lot for Ian and I to talk about, and there are those 9 frozen embryos sitting in a lab at UCSF.  Also, Ian is not quite there.  But the time has come to at least add adoption to the conversation in a serious way.  I have a meeting with Dr. Tran in a few weeks, and I've told Ian and our nurse both that I will do another frozen cycle with the three embryos left that are supposedly also great quality.  And once those 3 embryos die inside my uterus like the last 9 have, I think I will be done.  Ian is taking steps he needs to take to process for himself where we are and where we are heading.  

I need to figure out how adoption works. I know infertility treatments.  I don't know adoption and it feels big and unknown and hard and new.  I will take any solid information anyone can give me about what has worked for them, especially in the Bay Area.

So, that's it for today.  No miracles here.