No more decisions to make

Decisions that sometimes seem agonizing in the moment become even more so when they are taken away.

I had been torturing myself trying to figure out if we should try a FET, when we should try a FET, if we should transfer one or two, etc.

Well, that decision was taken away from me this morning.

I had a hysteroscopy to look at my uterus and I have developed significant adhesions/scar tissue (Asherman’s Syndrome).   My RE said he could attempt to operate and ‘fix my uterus up a bit’, but that given my history it would be against his better judgment and he’s ‘happy for me’ that we are attempting surrogacy.

Just like that, I’m done.  I’ll never get pregnant again.  I’ll never even have the potential to carry a baby to term.  I won’t get the chance to beat this RPL.  And worse yet, it’s 100% the cause of MY bad decision I made in the hours after I found out my sweet Abby was dead.  I didn’t think I could bear to be induced, so I chose the D&C that did this to me.  The OB said she was using ultrasound and would be extremely cautious given my history.  Guess that didn’t help.

At least when my miscarriages happened, I never felt like they were (really) my fault.  I knew I had done everything I knew how at the time to be taking care of my baby.  And now I’m hit in the gut with this diagnosis and it’s 100% my fault.  I don’t even know what more to say.  I guess that’s what happens when you ask ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’.   It just gets worse.

What’s the worst that can happen?

So my husband and I are not on the best of terms right now, but we’re trying.  Trying to communicate, trying to pretend that we aren’t as bad off as we probably are.  Anyway, we started having another discussion about this (potential) upcoming FET.

His opinions in a nutshell:

Why not go for it? MMB:  Let me list a few (hundred) reasons.  Or, maybe not even a few hundred- let’s just list 6 failed pregnancies out of 7.  When you have shitty odds, you don’t exactly expect lightening to strike you again (in a good way).  He knows what a toll this has taken on my body, on my mental state, on our relationship, on my ability to be a good mother for our daughter, I really just don’t get how he can even ask this.  

It seems stupid to sit around and wait for a surrogate candidate to be identified when you ‘know’ you can get pregnant. MMB: Um, sure, I can get pregnant, but how does that equate to a take-home-baby when it comes down to my uterus?  And what if I don’t get pregnant this time?  Lots of women have failed transfers.  I’ve had two ‘successful’ transfers take, what if this is my 1 in 3 that doesn’t work?  There’s a new way for me to have a failed outcome that I’d rather not experience.

At least it will give you something to do in the meantime (while waiting for a surrogate). MMB: Hmm, as if I don’t have anything else to do like take care of our toddler and try to make it through each day without imploding or exploding or getting arrested for assaulting some poor random pregnant woman who triggers me. 

We should definitely transfer 2 embryos because that increases our odds and we’ll save a few thousand dollars on not doing another FET if this one doesn’t work.  MMB: Yes, because we don’t really want twins it makes sense to transfer two.  And my body does such a bang-up job with carrying ONE baby, I should tempt it again with attempting to carry TWO?  We transferred two embryos last time (our first transfer and miscarriage #5 was a Single Embryo Transfer) and I was pregnant with two sacs but only one kept growing.

At least you’ll be trying again.  I would think that would be healing for you.  MMB: Who knows?  Right now it just seems to be giving me more anxiety.  But seriously, I think I’m past the point of thinking there’s anything really healing in all of this. 

Whats the worst that can happen?  MMB:  Are you kidding me?  I guess he thinks that the worst has already happened to us so somehow it won’t happen again?  If that’s the case, I hope against hope that we’ve been through the worst and it’s not going to happen again.  But I can no longer even pretend that I believe that this is true.  I tried to think that  after we had lost 5 babies and I was in the second trimester with Abby, that the worst was over and we were in the clear.  Then we lost our Abby and she was scraped out of me on Mother’s Day.  I don’t want that rug pulled out from under me (yet again).  Maybe I’m just far too jaded by my experience (and I’ve heard other people’s horrible stories of loss) that I can graphically imagine other horrible outcomes.  I mean, Mother’s Day has effectively been ruined for me, but I’m sure there’s some other holiday that can also be ruined.  I could make it to 23 weeks this time and then lose the baby just before viability.  I could be on bedrest for weeks and not able to care for Sweetie, and then still lose the baby(ies).  I could carry the baby(ies) to term and then still lose them.  Hell- I could get pregnant with a healthy pregnancy and then somehow my Sweetie gets sick or worse (oh my goodness, I feel like I shouldn’t even type that even though every day I have major anxiety that something bad will happen to her).  Or maybe I’ll have another loss and this time it really will drive me over the edge and I’ll either be dead or committed to a mental hospital.  Yes, I really shouldn’t play the ‘what’s the worst that can happen game’.  Can you blame me?  Why does my husband insist on playing?

Ok, I’m sorry, I have to stop and say that I’m really not saying all these things to my husband in the way I stated above.  Even when we’re arguing, we both try to be respectful and non-snarky.  I just REALLY have to come vent here on my blog because I don’t have any other safe place to vent.  My husband is a wonderful man and he’s doing the best he can. That said, he does see things in a very black and white manner and he doesn’t have (any) of the need to analyze things the way I do.  So it leaves me feeling very unheard on most discussions especially when he thinks it’s a ‘no-brainer’.

I guess maybe I just need him to say that it’s scary as hell to try this again, instead of just trying to wrap this into a neat little ‘of course we should try again’ package.

 

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

What a week.

I had a nice vacation with my Sweetie.  I also remembered that traveling with a toddler is not very predictable, so I obviously did not get a chance to update over here. 

We finally heard that our agency has a surrogate candidate for us to talk to.  Hopefully we can get that scheduled ASAP (I would have done it today if possible!  Yes, I’m just slightly anxious and eager to keep the ball rolling).  Even a bigger hope is that she will like us.  I can’t even devote enough time here to the anxiety I have about talking to a surrogate.  It’s like internet dating on steroids.  I may have a slightly skewed vision of the current industry of surrogacy, but it seems to me that there are many, many Intended Parents (IP) to every Gestational Surrogate (GS) out there. We are definitely not the ones in demand, so I feel very helpless in this all. I guess I don’t really know how a surrogate chooses who to carry for, and it is just beyond my capability to put myself in her shoes (given my history of being a failure at pregnancy). 

Provera started working, finally.  So, if we want to, the clock is ticking on me deciding about doing a FET.  I say ‘me’ because my dear husband thinks this is just a non-question.  Of course we should try again in my body that has killed multiple normal babies.  Yep, makes total sense. (end sarcasm)  Yes,  we fortunately have a handful of embryos to work with, but by no means do we have unlimited options.  I refuse to do another complete IVF retrieval cycle, so once our frozen embabies are gone, we are done. 

So I need fingers crossed that we make some progress.  Any progress.  Towards a healthy, living baby at the end of 9 months. 

More waiting and hard decisions

So I had blood drawn today to see where the heck my period is.  Progesterone is low, so I haven’t ovulated yet and I’m just sitting in limbo.  At least my HCG=0 (three weeks ago it was 3, so at least it’s gone now).  Starting a course of Provera tonight (assuming the RN gets the prescription called in!) so I can hopefully get the show on the road.  She was nice and warned me that it may be a heavy, painful period.   I just had to shake my head because ANY period after losing a baby in the second trimester is going to be painful, physically and emotionally.

So what’s next for us?  I really wish I knew the answer.

OPTION 1:  FROZEN TRANSFER TO ME 

I have several PGS normal embryos on ice, so that’s an option I guess.  We had a monstrous load of bloodwork done with Expert #3 in NY, so I’m waiting to hear what he thinks about all that.  I don’t want to attempt this again in my own body unless I’m trying SOMETHING/ANYTHING different and there’s some reason to do so.  I’ve already been on the progesterone, aspirin, dexamethasone, intralipids, etc. route and that obviously hasn’t helped. I’m not going to do the exact same thing again and expect a different result.  I’m insane enough without doing that to myself again.

My RE, Dr. D., is SO incredibly conservative, I really can’t get him to order some of the more extreme things that people are trying these days to treat Recurrent Pregnancy Loss.  On the one hand, I can see his point- there aren’t good, published studies that prove them safe and beneficial.  But on the other hand, I don’t understand how doctors can look at RPL patients and just say ‘sorry, we don’t understand why your babies all died and we won’t try anything outside-the-box to help’.

At least Dr. B. is willing to look into some of the possible immunological causes, even if I don’t know if I want to try those therapies.  I have a feeling he’s going to come back and suggest Neupogen (filgrastim) and IVIG infusions.  I am not thrilled about doing the IVIG, but I’m not opposed to it.  I think it’s expensive and inconvenient, but I’m open to trying it.  I don’t know if I want to take Neupogen while I’m in the early days of pregnancy.  It scares me to take something that has not been studied at all really in pregnant patients.  It’s funny to talk about drugs that are ‘safe’ for pregnancy because I know none of them really are proven safe.  During my pregnancies, I’ve always tried to be very cautious and not take any medicine period, it just wasn’t worth it to me.  But to take a medicine to increase my WBC (neutrophil) counts with no knowledge of what they may do down the line to a growing fetus is just downright scary.  If my child someday develops leukemia or some illness like that, I know I would blame myself taking Neupogen during pregnancy.  But I blame myself now for losing my precious girl at 16 weeks, so is that any different?

OPTION #2: SURROGACY

We have put a deposit in with a surrogacy agency, Agency S.  My embryos seem to be good (we got 5 normal blasts out of 6 the last IVF cycle and 2 normals out of 6 the first cycle), so that doesn’t seem to be our biggest problem.  At least 3 of my 6 miscarriages have been chromosomally normal, so something is wrong with my body and pregnancy.  Of course, I want to carry my baby myself, but if my baby will do better in a Gestational Surrogate’s body, we are not opposed to that.  I do think there is such a stigma surrounding surrogacy, and that makes me nervous.  I really don’t need people making negative comments about it (or I’ll lose it and end up in jail and that wouldn’t be good!)  or lumping us in the camp of people who use carriers because they just don’t want to get fat from pregnancy.  On the other hand, I don’t give a flying leap what anyone else thinks about how we grow our family.

And our agency which seemed great on the front end has been nothing but disappointing this last month.  They talk so big about communication and they have not bothered communicating with us at all.  Their owner has spent more time on vacation than in the office and she doesn’t respond to emails when she is in the office.  When you are investing SO MUCH MONEY with them it is frustrating beyond all reason, but they really have the power until you are matched with a surrogate, so you have to sit back and twiddle your thumbs hoping you don’t piss them off.  In our initial contact with them, they acted like they had surrogates waiting to be matched, now I wonder if that’s true at all.  Other agencies were honest and said they had a 4-6 month waiting period, we were hoping things would move quicker with the agency we selected because that’s what they indicated.  I did check references and the Intended Parents we talked with were happy about them.

So we are in limbo with surrogacy.  We passed the initial hoops you have to jump through.  Hopefully something moves along on that front because already the waiting is driving me crazy.  It’s hard to give up so much control.  It sucks to have to give up so much control when it’s so easy for so many people to just get their baby.