Category Archives: Fertile Fudgery (Hizn)

Never Worse Than Never Ever Again?

(From the Archives: Another Child)

I read that line on a blog several days ago and I haven’t been able to shake it out of my head since. Its simplicity is what I think twists me up inside even though initially I nodded my head in somber agreement.

How could I agree when I don’t have anything to make the judgement on? Mr. DD and I never experienced the “Never”, and I can’t help but wonder how differently things would be for us now if we had started on the wrong side of the statistics.

We would have been better prepared by consciously making the decision almost immediately as to what to do when we’re ready the next time. Instead we waited with our eyes shut thinking a subsequent pregnancy would happen the way it did the first time. Ironically, it did, but nothing could have prepared us for the first of three miscarriages. No one can ever be prepared regardless of the number of times it happens.

After the first miscarriage, we had to “do” a minimum six month of trying naturally, which does nothing but stress one out and it’s not fair that most physicians won’t offer a referral until you do. In our most recent cycle, I’ve learned that the now 24 months that have passed since then, waiting and trying have not increased our chances of getting and staying pregnant. I found out the hard way that in just 12 months, my ovarian reserve has pretty much dried up.

And what knocks me on my ass is that we are now experiencing the Never Again possibility without warning.

So here’s a question: is there really Secondary Infertility when there was already Primary? With Primary you already know that the next time ART will more than likely be involved. You know the lingo; you know the odds; and maybe PIF has even given you the good fortune (in relationship to the whole shitty process) of having frozen embryos awaiting you.

In an email exchange I had with someone, my eyes were opened to the idea that there is no SIF if there is PIF. I don’t mean necessarily that the second child can come easier to the IF who desires child no.2, I just mean that SIF have their “eyes wide open” to what is to come. They may even know from the moment their first child is born that they are done. They’ve accepted it and have the peace that can comes with time and having a new baby in their arms. How many times have you heard a PIF hope that they have twins the first time around and know that their family will be complete?

Here’s something that came directly from my email exchange:

“When you go straight to ART for #2, this is not experiencing SIF. That’s not hearing ‘only’ one child for a few years, that’s not your child begging for a sibling, that’s not being the only only in a classroom and being told that your time is easier/looser etc b/c you only have one.”

Another question: how can there be Secondary Infertility when there wasn’t primary? I would like someone to explain to me how Infertility has become Secondary. Secondary to what?

Even more difficult when it comes to our Secondary Infertilty diagnosis is feeling like you are squelching your spouse’s hopes that you could possibly conceive without ART. Yes, it’s possible, but highly unlikely. My husband has repeatedly told me that he feels like I’ve “written him off” (because our IF’s main cause is MF, but not the only factor). If we had had Primary, we wouldn’t have the late-night crying and under-our-breath hissed discussions that we’ve done it before without a doctor’s assistance, we can do it again. We would just be trying to figure out what are the next steps we should take in ART that have the quickest and most desirable outcome.

For me, I can only speculate that we never would have had to do the two failed IVFs which strapped us emotionally and financially. If we had had PIF, the use of donor might have been accepted without a blink of an eye – maybe not the first time, but more so the secondy time – and possibly the only heated discussion we might have had was should the donor be Irish/German or Irish/Irish decent.

Secondary Infertility is a misnomer and leads to so many misconceptions and unfounded bias. Do you think the couple who had PIF who find themselves surprisingly pregnant naturally a second time now consider themselves Fertile? I would love to see someone admit to that. So why should I now consider myself SIF when there was never PIF. And here’s even a further leap: why should I consider myself SIF when maybe we were never “fertile”? Maybe we just got lucky the first time, and then found out the hard way that we are actually Infertile.

NOT SO STILL WATERS

We were at my SIL’s this weekend for supper, and while sitting there digesting, SIL’s daughter asked her mom if could have the bunk-beds that were in the spare bedroom.

. . . Just in case they “decide to go for a third one”.

Wouldn’t you know? Hearing how easy it is for most to manage their family size when they do nothing more than think about it is still like a punch to the chest.

I use to try to be magnanimous and would say that I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through what we did, but you know what? I wish it was more difficult for the average couple to conceive and deliver a child.

I could gloss over my reasons by saying maybe they’d appreciate their children more; maybe there would be fewer abused children; maybe there would be fewer neglected children.

But really, the reason I wish that it wasn’t so easy? It’s so I wouldn’t have to feel so disconnected from my husband’s family who I once felt a great bond with, in the beginning, before our first miscarriage.

It’s immediately apparent to a couple when there’s a miscarriage or a failed cycle what is gone, but I think the hardest long-term loss has been the repeated sense of not being normal, of not belonging.

That painful rock had settled to the bottom of the pond long ago, but I still feel the rippling effect on my heart almost every day.

ripple

THE ‘YUK’ FACTOR OF SOCIETY

Since most of us are pretty tuned into the fertility and infertility stories about the web, I’d say then that you probably have already heard/read about Elizabeth Adeney in Britain who at 66 is 8 months pregnant with her first child after seeking treatment in the Ukraine.

Full story hereor you can google it and find a wealth of blahdeblah stuff.

What I wanted to highlight was the last paragraph of this story; a quote from Dr. Allan Pacey which sums up his feelings about older women getting pregnant:

“Most people feel uncomfortable about the idea of providing fertility treatment to women beyond the natural menopause. In some ways, setting a cut-off point of 50 is arbitrary. But when you combine the welfare of the child, the health of the mother, and, indeed the ‘yuk’ factor of society, I think that is a reasonable place to end up.”

Contrary to what my husband believed when he read the quote, “yuk” refers to the “ick” factor, not the “ha-ha” factor. Obviously, a man who watches too much comedy TV.

So how’s this for Yuk:

Mel Yukson
Mel Yukson

Mel Gibson, who is 53 knocked it out with his girlfriend who is going on four months pregnant just six weeks after the divorce papers were filed. Not just yuk, but let’s add in douchy leper. Freak.

Not yucky enough?

Tony Yukdall
Tony Yukdall

OK. Then there’s Tony Randall, who at 77 became a father for the first time after impregnating his 27 year old wife. For those who worry about older women not seeing their children reach adulthood, Tony’s oldest child was 7 when his dad started farting up dust.

Larry Yuking
Larry Yuking

A younger new dad was found in Larry King when he was only 67. I, however, have added exponentially a yuk factor to that union based on Larry King’s looks alone. Seriously? Who wants to look up at the ceiling’s mirrors and find that troll hunkering between your thighs? *shudder*

Nanu Yukogi
Nanu Yukogi

All these men are just spry young men when you look at the world’s oldest new dad. Nanu (nanu-nanu!) became a new dad at 90 back in 2007 and plans on having more babies with his oldest son’s widow well until he reaches triple digits.

So that yuk factor? Funny how it seems to apply only to women when it comes to making into a news story’s quote.

A QUESTION THAT DOESN’T NEED ANSWERING

Last night, ZGirl and I were taking a bath. We both have been struck by colds and a vapor bath provided some relief. I called for Mr. DD who held up ZGirl’s fluffy, warm towel for me as I lifted her slippery body out of the water into his arms. As he coo’ed and talked to her in the quiet of the master bath, I told him that I noticed I had started spotting today. The first sign of a cycle trying to return since I got pregnant a year ago.

Mr. DD mulled over the information for a brief second or two and then asked, “We’re not having any more kids, right? What do you want to do about birth control?”

We’re not having any more kids, right?

The words hung in the humid air while a lump built in my throat. I’m 41. My eggs are shit. His sperm is shit. I tried to blow off the words with the snarky response, “Like we  have to worry about birth control – Ha!” to which he replied, “That’s not an answer,” and walked out of the bathroom door with ZGirl curled up in his arms.

We’re not having any more kids, right?

I stretched out in the tub, the water quickly cooling, the bubbles surrounding me quietly clicking as they popped. I thought I was well-prepared for this moment, accepting that after years of ART and miscarriages, having another baby would never be an option to put on the family table to discuss. But still…

We’re not having any more kids, right?

I opened the drain to the tub and heard the water gurgle away. I watched my knees form islands of skin and bone as the water level dropped. I felt my skin cool and tighten with goosebumps as air hit the newly exposed areas of my shoulders and back. All too soon, the tub was empty and I stood up to reach for my robe hanging on the wall. In that moment I caught the reflection of my body in the mirror, and I saw the ravages of pregnancies and time staring back at me.

We’re not having any more kids, right?

I thought again of the one remaining embryo on ice, Pokey. It would probably never survive a thaw and I had no idea why they even froze it, except maybe out of pity. Four eggs retrieved, four eggs fertilized, three transfered…may as well freeze the fourth. The clinic’s symbolic attempt at hope in case none of the first three took.

We’re not having any more kids, right?

No, it’s not “right”. It just is.

no. 620 – But When Do They Get Around To The Petri Dish?

We received in the mail recently a care-package from a relative. I won’t say which side of the family this relative sprouts from, but every day I thank my stars above that I somehow lucked out with the "normal" one….

In the care-package was a little book: Where Did I Come From by Peter Mayle

Oh, this is cute I thought as I flipped through the first couple of pages on the verge of flagging down XBoy to show him his new book. My brain came to screeching halt when I saw this:  Wdicfbath

What the hell do two old people taking a bath together and playing "tugboat" have to do with the point of this book??! And as an aside, anyone else notice that we get the pleasure of the man’s butt-shot in the wall mirror? Yep. That was necessary.

Then they get Grandma and Grandpa out of the tub and start describing the differences between them including the "two round bumps on her chest".  Grandma’s got quite a nice rack, wouldn’t you agree? "Some people call them the bosom….Other people call them titties, or boobs." I covered these names here in a much earlier and unrelated post.

By the way, for you parents who struggled with whether or not to use nicknames for your children’s body parts, I highly recommend you start off with the correct terminology because it’ll all go downhill once they hit Kindergarten. XBoy has known the word "penis" since the day he found it in the tub with him and just starting to talk (not the penis, but the toddler). Well just a couple days ago he mentioned something about his "wiener". So let me just take a moment to thank the parents and older siblings of the classmates in XBoy’s class for introducing that lovely word into his vocabulary. The point is teach them the technical terms early because they’ll slip into those delightful colloquialisms soon enough.

Wdicfwork Don’t think that the woman gets all the attention in the book. There’s this delightful mention of the penis: (I’m providing it as a picture since I’m sure I’ll get enough weird search hits from this post as it is…)

Then we get down to business. The sex, or as the book has it labeled, "Making Love". Did you know that "making love is like skipping. You can’t do it all day long." no matter how enjoyable the "tickling" is.  Wdicfskip

You know, there’s just no way I can do this book justice, positively or negatively. It’s garnered rave reviews for its frank humor while at the same time, it’s considered offensive to others. I must be a bit of a prude as I found it inappropriate only because too much time was put into describing sex itself.

Wdicfhug Does a 5 year old need to know it feels good? That the man "likes to be insider her" or that the woman "likes him to be insider her" or that the "big shiver" at the end is a bit like sneezing? It kind of squicked me out, to be honest.

Worse yet, the imagery in the book will somehow become part of my subconscious at the worst possible times. "Oooh, I’m going to sneeze…I’m going to sneeze!…yes, YES, I’m sneezing!!"

Now if you happen to have this book and liked it, feel free to tell me why you did (or even if you didn’t).

no. 618 – Going To Hell

I happened to be doing some "research" (I use the term loosely since I have no intent of suddenly writing a dissertation) on the Catholic’s view of IVF. Shall I just cut to the chase and give you the actual summary of their view?

"In summary, the Catholic Church condemns as gravely evil acts, both IVF in and of itself, and stem cell research performed on IVF embryos. "

Gravely Evil, people. Gravely.

LolembryosWhile they did actually include some researched data from the science of Human Embryology, it was this statement that had my grey matter firing in confusion and anger:

     "IVF violates the rights of the child: it deprives him of his filial relationship with his parental origins and can hinder the maturing of his personality. It objectively deprives conjugal fruitfulness of its unity and integrity, it brings about and manifests a rupture between genetic parenthood, gestational parenthood, and responsibility for upbringing. This threat to the unity and stability of the family is a source of dissension, disorder, and injustice in the whole of social life."

I bet the person who wrote out that little tidbit of double-talk was once an attorney (no offense to those of you in the legal field…you’re already going to hell, too).

Now the statement doesn’t even take into consideration us hellions here on earth who have pursued third-party (donor/surrogacy) reproduction. Let’s just say we are also going straight to hell; do not pass GO; and don’t even think about Purgatory.

During my aforementioned research, I stumbled upon an infertility blog being written through the eyes of a Catholic – assumed devout – woman. An RE was out of the question for her and her husband because of the Catholic church’s stand. She also mentioned that one of the few places she could go for treatment of any kind was right here in Nebraska! Pope Paul VI Institute!

While I found myself a bit chuffed that her description of the institute and their goal was to actually find a cause for her infertility as opposed to all those hell-bound REs who just are trying to gloss over the causes, the clincher in the blogger’s life was that her recent updates include the fact that she and her husband are divorcing.

Soooo….it’s OK for this couple to seek divorce, but not reproductive assistance? Now I understand that obviously if they had actually went against the church originally and sought an RE that it wouldn’t have saved the marriage. I just find a certain irony to that whole thing since it’s  encouraged for the couples to believe that their infertility is something they should accept, but a crappy marriage? Pfffftt! Nothing a little "annulment" can’t fix so that the Church will welcome them both back into the fold, while at the same time don’t you dare go about IVF so you can raise your child to be a threat to the unity and stability of the family as a source of dissension, disorder, and injustice in the whole of social life.

That would just be wrong.

Now where’s my handbasket . . .

Focus on the Random

Have you ever had a thought or a plan in your head for so long, you were sure that you had discussed it out-loud to your partner, or at least to the other person(s) involved in that plan?

Obviously I have or I wouldn’t have asked the rhetorical question.

Mr. DD called me on his way to The Metro to provide the sperm to what I hope is a cache of eggs from our donor. While we are both incredibly nervous about what will happen, he is ever the optimist going so far to say, “I just hope we don’t end up with triplets.”

First of all…doesn’t he remember all the times before where he would say shit like that and jinx the whole damn cycle?! GGRRRrrrrrrr….

(shake it off, DD. shake it off)

I told him that triplets is going to be highly unlikely since the most I will have transferred is two, depending on quality. For some crazy-ass reason, he thought I was going to have four transferred. I think it’s because men only process every other word in most any statement:

Mr. DD, each recipient is guaranteed a minimum of four eggs from the donor on each cycle.

What he heard:

Mr. DD, you are guaranteed at least four babies from this cycle.

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Last night we had to do our first PIO shot for the cycle. I started off whining about how big the needle appeared to be it didn’t seem like the right size are you sure it’s the right size what’s the next size up what’s the next size down, etc., etc.

Mr. DD asked just how many of these do we need to do?

I said it depends on whether or not I get pregnant, and if I do, it will be for a loooo-ooo-ong time.

He just wanted to know how many more days of bitching he will need to tolerate.

***********************************

During the preparation of the PIO, Mr. DD said,

I don’t know why we bother. I don’t think that stuff helps.

I tried to explain in a calm and reasonable manner that since I did not ovulate, my body will not produce any progesterone and without the progesterone there would be no pregnancy.

While I may have been calm on the exterior, I was focusing on his throat and my fingers were twitching.

*************************************

I will have to do the next couple of PIO shots on my own. After Mr. DD leaves the clinic, he will be meeting up with a couple of friends of his to go to Kansas to race his R. C. Cars in some regional race thing. I talked to his friend on the phone last night and told him to watch out for Mr. DD as he may feel like cuddling or even a nap after providing a sample so I asked him to be gentle. Yes, this friend knows what’s going on.

Mr. DD will return late Sunday night just in time for Freak-Out No. 52,116 prior to the scheduled transfer Monday morning.

**************************************

I had scheduled a seating with a professional photographer so we could have a new family portrait made out, just in time for the holiday cards (’cause I know how much you all love the holiday pictures!!), but yesterday I cancelled it.

It was scheduled for Friday, November 16th.

You do the math.

***************************************

Speaking of holiday cards, I’m looking forward to another card exchange like last year. Think about it before you rush to answer, “Fuck, no way!”.

This means you, DinoD.

no. 529 – Take It Or Leave It

I don’t do this but hardly ever, but I’m going to complain about a blog.

Some of you might read it: Infertility Blog by Dr. L1cc1arbi (sp). If you don’t read it but want to have something to refer to after you’re done reading her, you can find it at infertility blog (one word) dot blogspot dot com.

If you do decide to read the post by Dr. L., yes you will see I submitted my response anonymously. That’s why I didn’t provide any links.

He had a post recently which contained an article written by one of his former patients that will be published in a book to be released in a couple of months. This patient basically states to find the best IF treatment centers go online to sart dot org and do a comparison of success rates for the clinics near you.

For the uninitiated, this sounds like excellent and sage advice. If I’m lucky, I will find 2-4 clinics within my area; I can follow those links, and BAM! have my comparison for success rates for all the different kind of procedures each clinic provides. FYI: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes the same info to which I add this side note: anyone else find it particularly insulting that while the CDC tracks infertility treatment under the heading of Disease Control and Prevention, most insurance companies, family members and friends still consider ART elective and having children a "lifestyle choice"…I’m just saying….

The problem with the "comparisons" is there is no control group or requirements that detail anything more than the patient’s age when submitting data. My SIL tried to convince my husband we should get a consult with the clinic in Denver because their success rates are impressively sky-high Here’s what most people don’t know: many of these physicians maintain higher success rates by excluding women who have hormone levels over/under their "acceptable" ranges.

Admittedly, my clinic had us go through CD3 FSH testing (elevated levels of follicular stimulating hormone indicate limited reserves of eggs), a HCG (hysterosalpingogram to check for tube-blockage and uterine anomalies) and a SA (sperm analysis). These tests were not performed in order for us to be accepted as patients with my clinic, but to provide the most efficient treatment plan possible depending on our level of infertility, even if that meant referring us to other options including foster parenting or adoption.

That’s what a physician is expected to do when treating an Illness or Disease.

Instead you have these clinics who place limitations on who they accept and suddenly and effectively they have taken the word Disease and made it a mockery by declining treatment to someone who truly needs it. On the other hand, if he takes on this difficult patient, he risks lowering his standings with SART.

Imagine if an Oncologist was allowed to do the same. "Oh, your cancer has spread into your central nervous system and liver. Yeah, well, the possibility of remission is rather slim so you will have to seek treatment elsewhere as you don’t pass my minimum level of success." I’d have my pitchfork at the ready if I heard of something so shameful and disrespectful to another person’s illness just for the sake of a bottom line and reputation.

The better advice to couples about selecting their RE is really no different than how you should select any medical specialist: by both your physician’s suggestion and opinions and by word of mouth. I didn’t know of the CDC or SART reports before I made my final choice of the two clinics available in Nebraska. It’s no coincidence that the clinic that came highyl recommended is also the clinic that has the higher success rate overall. It’s too easy to "doctor" the stats to make a reproductive clinic more appealing on paper. Go with the recommendations. Go with your gut. And if you walk in the door and something doesn’t feel right, walk out. It’s your time. Your dollars.

Sometimes it’s easy to ignore the flaws when you’re looking at your RE and the staff through baby-colored glasses, but if you can’t stand your doctor; or trust him/her to have your best interests at heart; or if you feel they are taking you on (or rejecting you) because of how you fit into their fiscal spreadsheet, move on. That’s my advice.

no. 433 – It’s OK

Sure it’s a bummer that I’m not going to be one of those very fortunate women who miraculously get pregnant on their own after months (years) of treatment. It really makes me wonder what we did right 6 years ago, or what has gone wrong since then. It’s actually scary in some ways that there will probably never be an answer.

However, I am not feeling particularly blue about my present status, referring to it being the beginning of a new cycle. This means that we are done treading water, at least for now, and have found a bit of flotsam to hold onto. Before I go to bed tomorrow night, I will back to the needles.

I am going to suggest to our RE something different. I would like Mr. DD to provide a sample for washing the day of the IUI with the mutual understanding that if things do not look good, we will go with the reserved donor semen. This will also give us an idea if anything has changed over the year with Mr. DD and to have a better idea of how we would proceed with the donor egg, if (and probably when) it comes to that.

Our RE never discussed using donor sperm on the DE cycle, which I never really thought about until Leggy mentioned it in one of her comments. It will be something to consider more seriously as time passes. Personally, I would prefer that any embryos created during a DE be Mr. DD’s. Seems contradictory to all these cycles in the past and maybe I’ll try to explain another time, but I’m sure many of you already can appreciate my feelings about it.

Also, depending on how my ovaries behave during this next cycle we will be thinking whether there will be one or two more dIUIs. It would seem rather pointless to do two more if at the highest level of FSH recommended, I get a half dozen follicles. That’s not anything to sneeze at, but I’d rather get our names on the DE waiting list sooner rather than later.

Clearly, I’m not all too optimistic about the upcoming cycle. It’s not that I believe it will fail. I just don’t believe it will work. It takes to much energy to be enthusiastic about it. Instead I will remain realistic.

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One a completely unrelated note:

Things are too quiet over at In-Laws Suck, in both the comment sections and new stories. It’s hard to believe that all of your in-laws are perfect angels. All stories submitted to   inlawssuck@yahoo.com will be kept completely confidential.

no. 415 – Tickets, Please

Information regarding IUI success rates. Pregnancy rates can and do range from as low as 8% to as high as 28% depending on multiple factors. Our clinic’s pregnancy rate is approximately 25% for IUIs, which isn’t available by the CDC. The higher rate for our clinic is more than likely due to the fact they probably do not see the kinds of difficult cases of infertility that clinics from large cosmopolitan areas do, which can skew the numbers negatively.

Nationwide, the average success rate for IUIs is probably closer to 10-15%.

Some other numbers? Our clinic’s success rate for Donor Eggs was 55.6 (live births) in 2004….however, there were only 45 procedures with fresh embryos performed. Comparitively, I found another clinic that did 202 procedures with an over 80% success rate and yet another that only had 11% success with their 18 procedures.

My apologies if I gave the impression that IUIs have a high chance of success. The percentage is based specifically on our clinic’s numbers.

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This past Tuesday, Mr. DD and I got into a lengthy and unfortunately – heated – discussion about what might possible happen with our scheduled consult with the RE.

I hate those discussions. They usually start when I have fluffed my pillows and pulled the covers under my chin after a long day. This one was no different.

It started innocently enough, "What do you think Dr. Blinksalot will say?" he asked.

An hour and a half later I was switching off the light with tears drying on my cheeks and the blood vessel on my left temple engorged and throbbing.

Yesterday’s appointment has resuscitated the hope that was partially dashed that night.

Damn!

I don’t want to be hopeful again. It always seems to end badly.

We arrived at our appointment a half hour early, so Mr. DD walked into the clinic already on a defensive note. "Great, we’ll be sitting there for 45 minutes since doctors always run late. I’ve been sitting for 2 hours already…grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch."

Dr. Blinksalot happened to be in the reception area and greeted us happily. I found some magazines we both could look at and settled into the hard waiting room chairs.

"You two can come on back."

We looked up from the magazine covers, since we didn’t even get them opened, looked to see who she was talking to but we were the only ones there, and then looked at each other in surprise.

Dr. Blinksalot led us into her office and again settled into some chairs. Our file lay in front of her, thick with nearly two years of information, test results and op-notes.

It was awkward at first since neither Mr. DD or myself knew what we wanted to do, or even what we could do, at this point. We explained that we both felt we were sitting at down at the slots and pulling the lever over and over again. Getting close (with chemical and failing pregnancies) had the affect of both encouraging and discouraging us. I felt if we kept pulling that lever that eventually we would hit the jackpot. He felt that we were draining our sanity into a no-win situation.

We also talked about surrogacy and donated embryos. The former was not something she felt we needed to pursue since my labs and lining always looked good. She told Mr. DD what I had been telling all along and that is it’s not my uterus that’s ever been the problem. We also learned something interesting about the law when it comes to surrogacy in the State of Nebraska (which actually may not be different across the nation), and that is the woman who bears the child is listed as the mother on the birth certificate, even if the embryo has no biological link to her. The parents then must adopt their own baby after the birth. I was somewhat shocked as I had never bothered researching the legalities. The information pretty much sealed the deal against the option for both of us. For those of you who are or have considered surrogacy is this law unusual or par for the course?

As for the donated embryos, she suggested we pursue only with caution, and admitted it was not something their clinic was prepared to handle.

Then we discussed what she personally thought we should do. Since a stimulated IUI’s chance for producing a pregnancy is 25% (the same odds for a couple in their mid-20’s who have no fertility issues), she thinks we should try one or two more cycles. I made sure to clarify with Mr. DD that no, she is not giving him permission to have sex with a 25 year old.

If that does not work, she would then recommend to us to move to donor egg, a treatment option I had hoped to avoid only because of it’s higher cost. Their program is rather basic: they would match a donor to us and another couple. The donor would go through stims and the two couples would be on medication to coordinate all three cycles. Each couple is promised a minimum of 4 eggs. Any less than that, they go again at no charge. She said to expect to be on their waiting list for up to six months. They do not advertise for donors, but it’s a program that recruits by word-of-mouth only (so if there are any women out there who are of a healthy nature, already have had normal children and are under the age of 35 and live in either of the two larger cities in Nebraska – please consider becoming an egg donor).

Obviously any decision we make is ours alone, but with one caveat: she advises that we don’t delay too long in making our decision. As many of us know, our ovaries age in dog years, and as for Mr. DD and I taking six months off? It’s really not recommended in our case.

On the drive back home, we had plenty of time to think about what she said. Mr. DD admitted that he was glad he went. Even though Dr. Blinksalot pretty much repeated what I had been telling all along, he was put at ease hearing it straight from her, especially when she told us that their goal is not to provide treatment to their patients, but to get them a baby, even if that entails informing a patient that ART will not be the means to that end.

So we have come to a mutual agreement. There will not be one more treatment.

Instead, we will follow her suggestion and that is up to two more IUIs, and if they fail, we will try DE.

The time-frame? Well, since yesterday was CD1, which followed a 14 day luteal phase in a 28 day cycle (oh, the irony), we will probably start in exactly one month. The vacation in June is still a go, no matter what.

What have we got to lose? (I say cautiously, yet hopefully…)

no. 408 – Machismo

For once, I’m at a loss for words. Not just any words, but the "right" words. I’d rather take this time and write about X’s swim and tae kwon do classes. Or how our property became a scene from CSI Nebraska on Wednesday. I’d  rather describe a sexual issue I haven’t had the guts to talk about, or even the desire to, but one that I really should get off my chest. I’m even thinking of starting a new category ("Stories from the Office Toilet") because everyfuckinday, it’s something!

Instead I feel like my brain has suddenly become a scrabble game and the words are there, I just have to get them together without them reading like caveman-speak (me angry. me sad. me no feel resolution with Mr. DD)(……Is it me, or was that more Tarzan-speak?).

I scheduled an appointment for Mr. DD and myself to meet with our RE on April 5. I can’t get a weekend, and I can’t get a Friday. Either one would be more convenient for Mr. DD. Because it’s at 11:00 am, we each will need the full day off with the 2+ hours drive one way. He’s upset and says, "I have to take the whole day off for this? Why do I have to be there?"

Because I’m sick and fucking tired of you asking me why can’t we get a pregnancy to hold. I don’t have the answer, and when I tell you that NO one will have the answer, you scoff at me. Then you say stupid things like "If we can get one good egg from you and one good sperm from me, why don’t we just get a surrogate?" I’m so flummoxed by his "rationalization", I really have no way to answer that without lunging at him and ripping out his throat in frustration.

Let’s break that down, shall we?

One. Good. Egg.

HAHAHAHAhahahahahahaha. HA!………(one more time, with emphasis: HA!)

One. Good. Sperm.

Oh now you’re just embarrassing yourself. Stop, OK?

Get. A. Surrogate.

Of course! Let’s just run down to the Surrogate Store – the one downtown as the one on the corner is a little sketchy – and pick out a nice, if not slightly used, uterus, mmkay?

It’s not my uterus that’s the problem. It’s the two things you think we have that go in it, that’s the problem. It seems that any embryo we may create together (or one that is created via donor sperm) will not be Grade AA quality. A crappy embryo is a crappy embryo no matter what uterus you put it it. Even Momma Duggar’s uterus would probably reject an embryo made with my egg.

And this is where our RE comes back into the picture. We entered their clinic nearly two years ago with unexplained infertility. We were then diagnosed with MFI. After three miscarriages, it pretty much boils down to Shit for Eggs as well. What to do next? I don’t know.

I don’t know.

And therein lies my frustration with Mr. DD. I have no more answers to pull out of my ass for him. We are starting from scratch and just as I never would have imagined going to our first appointment two years ago by myself, I wouldn’t now when I feel our options are slowly being eliminated. I need him to be emotionally vested again in the process as this past year he has become quite detached except to get frustrated when I’m feeling particularly down and weepy. I’m sure it’s because he feels unable to help. That is not a position my husband will ever feel comfortable in.

He’s a born handyman. If I or someone in either of our families or even an acquaintance needs help with something, he is there. If he can’t fix it, he’ll set up arrangements to get it fixed. So, yes, I am angry and frustrated with him and what appears to be his standoffish behavior. But I’m trying to appreciate that he sees something broken and is completely frozen by the reality that there’s really nothing he can do to fix it. I am trying to make him understand that we have to ask for help. We need our clinic to hold our hands and lead us to the best option, instead of going with the option that’s most palatable to our egos. We may even have to hear, "There’s nothing more we can do."

That’s why he needs to be there. I will need someone to hold me up if we are to walk out of the clinic for the last time.