Processing My Thoughts

It has been a hard month for me to process all the different thoughts that have been flowing through my head.  About a week after my doctor’s office froze our one sole embryo, we had a follow up call with him to discuss the way ahead.

After my last retrieval, my doctor was able to do a little bit of analysis on my eggs and he has come up with one conclusion: my eggs are genetically abnormal.  There were a few different scenarios that had been occurring with my eggs:

Egg Scenario #1:  “I don’t need no stinkin’ sperm!”
Some eggs decided to just start dividing on their own, absent any sperm.  I guess they decided they could reproduce asexually and create clones of me.  Unfortunately, this isn’t normal and so they died off after a few days.

Egg Scenario #2:  “Sperm!???!??!  EEEEEEK!  ABORT! ABORT! ABORT!”
Some eggs had one look at the sperm that had entered their territory and decided that life just wasn’t worth it.  They either died upon first sight of their new mate, or else within a few hours.

Egg Scenario #3: “Yawn…….this splitting and growing thing is just plain ol’ boring.  I think I’m going to take a looooooooong nap.”
This scenario actually sounds pretty typical of me.  I’ve been known to have the ability to nap on demand — anywhere, anytime.  My fertilized eggs carried on that trait — except their naps were so deep that they just ended up dying.

Egg Scenario #4: “Fertilization!  Woohoo!  Lets grow, grow, grow!”
This is the best case scenario.  Grow and divide, grow and divide, repeat for nine months!  So far, we’ve had two embryos follow this scenario.  The first one, however, when tested for chromosomal abnormalities, came back as abnormal — and not just abnormal in one way (i.e. Downs Syndrome), but more than three abnormalities.  The word the doctor used was “chaotic.”  Our second embryo that grew has yet to be tested.  I’m really afraid that it, too, will come back as chaotic.  We will find the answer to that question soon.

So where do we go from here?  Our doctor gave us a few possibilities.  The first was to use Mama M’s eggs.  A “her bun, my oven” scenario.  The second is to use a donor egg with our current sperm donor.  The third was to accept and use a donor embryo.  These are extra embryos that were created by other couples for use in creating their own families — but they ended up being surplus.

After a little bit of thought, we’ve decided to try using Mama M’s eggs.  The process to retrieve her eggs is identical to the process that was used to retrieve mine.  The only difference is that I, at the same time, am taking medication to prepare my body for a (hopeful) transfer of 1 or 2 normal embryos that will be made up of Mama M’s egg and our donor sperm.

This scenario has definitely put us in a financial bind due to yet another retrieval and surgery, has resulted in us having to find a new sperm donor (our original donor resembled Mama M…….this new one is a bit more white), and, for me, created a big mental hurdle for me to overcome.  This entry is long enough, though, so that’ll have to wait for another day.

Your continued thoughts and prayers are appreciated as we endure this cycle.  We’ve both started medication and two hormonal women living under the same roof is definitely making for a test of our patience and love.

The Little Engine that Could…..Couldn’t

M and I decided to push ahead with another round of IVF, despite it causing us to stretch our finances seriously thin.  This yearning that we have for a child and a family is so strong that, at this point, we’d do anything to achieve it.

As part of the preparation for the next round, I had to have an ultrasound and labs done here in Kansas today.  I had to laugh because my ultrasound was scheduled for a day when I had to wear my “fancy” uniform to school/work, and I was on a tight time schedule, so I didn’t have time to change before heading off to my appointments.  Trying to finagle my way out of my pantyhose (clearly invented by a man….), my spanx (because, honestly, what woman doesn’t wear these nowadays….), heels, and uniform in order to get my ultrasound done made me chuckle……getting dressed again made me chuckle even more.  It really made me appreciate the leggings that I seem to wear on a daily basis when I’m sans uniform.

As I was driving home from the ultrasound/labs, relieved knowing that the ultrasound looked normal, my fertility doctor called to let me know that our one little embryo, the “little engine that could”…..couldn’t.  It came back as abnormal.  Our one little hope from this last cycle turned out to be hopeless.

Needless to say, tears were shed in the car.  I ugly cried most of the way back to school.  Cried because my body was failing me — failing us.  Why was this not working for us….again?