This post. Man, this is a hard one to write.
I have been MIA on the blogging front mostly because in writing my 50,000 word novel, my hands have been hurting since I am also typing on the computer all day at work.
We had our appointment with Dr. K. this past Wednesday. We had so much cleared up, and it was a very informative meeting.
We talked to him about our frustrations with the lab and our embryos. This last cycle, we were told we had 5 embryos (yes, the official number is 5, since initially we were told 4) that were growing normally, “but they were just a day behind.” This was not true. Dr. K. had no idea that this is what they were telling us. He told us that they were not growing normally, and we should have been told that things were not looking good on day 5. Two embryos initially were mature out of 8 (this was not what we were told) Three more matured the next day with rescue ICSI (injecting the sperm into the egg). We were not initially told that rescue ICSI has very poor outcomes. All of them were behind and slow growing (this is not what you want to see). He told us that these are lab techs making the phone calls and this call should have been handled by him. I think he was really surprised at all this, and made it seem like he was going to address this with the lab.
We are most definitely looking at an egg quality issue. As of right now, we don’t know where we stand with Attain. We will know in a few days if we are still officially in the program, or have been booted out because of my shit-for-eggs.
Assuming we are still in Attain, we will do a final cycle using my own eggs. He is going to completely change the protocol again. He is going to try an antagon protocol, with the double shot of HCG, and push my eggs further. Instead of looking at 20mm for maturity, he is going to wait until they are 22-24mm. The problem with this, is they could then die off. We are still doing ICSI, and he wants to try a steroid, dexomethasone. I am also taking CoQ10 400 mg twice a day, 800 mcg of folic acid, 4,000 mcg Vitamin D, and drinking green tea in hopes of improving some of my egg quality.
That’s the last one. If that gets the same response as the last two cycles, or if Attain decides to kick us out and refund the money in a few days, we are faced with the next step.
Using donor eggs.
What does this mean? We take another woman’s eggs, fertilize them with Chris’ sperm, and do an embryo transfer.
It means a 75% chance higher of a successful pregnancy.
It also means I will not have a biological child.
Why the title, “Why don’t you just adopt?” I have had this said to me multiple times. Easy. Why don’t you guys just adopt?
My go-to answer was always simply, “Because we aren’t there yet.”
But now, this. All through these cycles, and especially this last one, donor eggs were not far from my mind. Every cycle made me think, Is this truly going to work? I’ve been thinking it; it’s another thing entirely to hear it from my doctor.
That’s tough to hear. Could I still be pregnant? Yes. Will I still get to experience childbirth? Yes. Will this child be mine? Of course. Genetically, no. Biologically, no.
Chris and I had a long talk Wednesday night. Throughout this cycle, we have been on the same team, the same side. And now, we have come to the first thing that divides us. He would have his biological child.. and I won’t. And we shed a lot of tears over that.
Let me paint a picture. You have given birth. Your husband is next to you, and you are holding your newborn baby. Maybe friends are there, or your parents. Everyone is laughing and studying this little baby.
“Look Mama,” someone says, “She has your eyes!” or “He has your lips!”
And the lump forms in my throat when I think that, this won’t happen for me. There will be no features of my baby that I can pick out related to me. My mom can never look at me and say, “Risa, he or she is so wild, just like you were when you were little!” That will never happen. That’s a hard thing to deal with. Our baby will have some of Chris’ features. My son could take after him. That’s a comfort, but it’s still hard. I wanted my baby to look like me. And I need to come to terms with that fact that they won’t.
And right now, even as the tears are falling down my face, I still know what decision we will make. We will move forward. We will have a donor. Because what is my ultimate goal? A biological child? Or a child that is mine? I can still experience a pregnancy. This is such a gift, this technology we have. My eggs are not going to bring me a baby. Even if we do one last cycle with my eggs, I am facing the fact that it won’t work.
Attain views donor eggs as a new variable. Therefore, if we get booted out, or if we withdraw after this next IVF, Attain, according to our doctor, will welcome us back with open arms, because they view donor eggs are a MUCH higher chance of getting to keep our money.
So there it is. We have a plan and we are moving forward. Adoption is a wonderful choice for many people. But until you really understand what it may mean for someone who has cried, begged and pleaded for a biological child to face that loss, please, please, do not ask this. It is not as simple to “just” adopt. Any infertile will tell you, adoption is VERY expensive and not a guarantee.
And as with an egg or embryo adoption, there is a loss that needs to be grieved before moving on.
I need to grieve the fact that my own biological baby will never be. But I am thankful there are options. So, once again, we are taking one more shot at this, but I feel in my heart the time has come to move on. And it’s ok.