Monday, 22 July 2013

Important conversations happen at the dog park

The past week has been kind of tough.  Not "crying at work" tough, although I've had that in the past.  More just like "totally bummed out and not sure it's worth it to keep going on this treatment train" tough.  Which scares me a bit, as it's the first time that I've turned my mind towards the idea of quitting this whole thing, taking my uterus and going home. 

I'd previously had quite a bit of optimism in our next cycle.  While I know DHEA isn't a magic pill, I'd really held out a lot of hope that this past three months of supplementation would be doing some good and our egg quality would be much better the next time around.  Now, it kind of feels like even if that happens (which is by no means guaranteed), I could just be throwing those embryos away by putting them into my faulty uterus.  Worse, the two-month Lupron treatment my RE is recommending feels suspiciously like a "what the fuck, why not?" kind of approach.  It's like when you're having a computer problem, and you call tech support.  They ask you a bunch of questions, shrug their shoulders, then tell you to turn off your computer and turn it back on again.  Weirdly, sometimes that solves the problem.  But other times it doesn't and you end up in the market for a new computer.  This treatment basically feels like a crap shoot, and if it doesn't work we're risking whatever precious few embryos we might manage to make.  

Throughout this infertility journey, M has usually been a few steps behind me.  I was the first to realize (based on symptoms and lab work) that I likely had DOR.  I was the first to face the facts that our first IVF cycle would likely be cancelled.  And throughout it all, he's steadfastly refused to get into any serious conversation about other options besides IVF, preferring instead to focus his attention on the situation at hand and worry about the rest as it comes.

This weekend, as we sat in the shade of a tree at the dog park watching Buddy run around, I finally got him to talk about the possibility that we might not come out of IVF with a baby.  And I asked him to start seriously thinking about whether he would be content to live child-free, or whether he felt so strongly about being a father that he would want to pursue adoption.  We're not even thinking about donor egg/embryo at this point, since if part of my problem is a lining issue then that's a non-starter.  

I admitted to M that, ever since our trip to see my niece, I'd been having a lot of thoughts about how hard parenting is and had started to doubt whether I was interested in pursuing adoption.  We talked about all the travel we could do if we stayed child-free, and the fact that we could probably retire early.  But there was no joy in this conversation.  No acceptance.  Neither one of us is there yet, and it honestly frightens me that we might get to this point sooner rather than later.  It feels especially hypocritical in light of my recent cheerleading post, but I know at some point it's possible that we'll be questioning whether we have it in us to go through this anymore.  I'm already kind of starting to do that, at least for myself.

That said, IVF #3 will quickly be upon us.  Since it's a well-established scientific fact that my uterus is an asshole, it looks like AF will arrive sometime this weekend or early next week while I'm sitting on a beach in Maine with M and his parents.  I've already done some legwork and found myself a clinic in Portland that will run my CD3 bloodwork, but my baseline ultrasound will have to wait until I get back.  

In the meantime, I'm looking for recommendations for beach reading that will totally take my mind off infertility.  Nothing too light and chic-lit-y, but nothing too deep either.  Help a sister out and leave your suggestions in the comments!

33 comments:

  1. I love the title! I love the post even more. Keep your spirits up, Lady:-) The end of your journey is not here and there's no time to be sad over IF you'll have to deal with that. I believe DHEA works. I took it and I got more good eggs than they expected. Unfortunately, DOR is the least of my problems.

    On to books...I'm sucking in that department at the moment, but have you read Gone Girl? It won't make you cry at all. It's about a missing woman with an outrageous twist.

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    1. I loved Gone Girl! I recommend it to everyone. And I don't normally like mystery-type books.

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  2. Have you read Night circus by Erin Morgenstern. It's one of the books that I read recently and enjoyed much.

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    1. No, haven't heard of it. I'll check it out, thanks!

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  3. Sadly I'm so not a reader so I don't have any good recommendations, but I did want to tell you that I know exactly how you feel... I've begun to seriously think about when to give up and stop the treatments. It's hard, and I guess all I can say is that you'll know when you know. xoxo

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  4. Isn't it amazing how random serious conversatons can be sometimes. But I think they're really important to have. For me...talking about things over a time period helps me to understand them a bit and "try on" the options. We're clearing out the freezer in November (little hope according to RE) and then we must make the big decision too. Where do we want to spend our life-savings IVF (again) or adoption?

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  5. Andino and I have had a lot of the same conversations about living child free. I think if I were 10 years older I would definitely go that route, but who's to say for sure. Only you know what the right decision is for you. I hope you find peace in whatever you decide.

    As for reading, I just got the new Paulo Coelho book, but I haven't started it yet. I love Paulo Coelho. I love to read and I usually find that Amazon's recommendations work out really well for me. Also, I usually enjoy "Heather's Choice" from Chapters :)

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  6. thank you for posting about this. as much as well all need the cheerleading, we also need to be able to reflect on how we might "resolve" our infertility, if we don't end up with a baby after IVF. That could be a rality for every single one of us. So thank you for sharing where you guys are at teh moment.

    - have you had lining issues in the past? too thin? sorry if I have missed that...

    I just finished 'whered you go bernadette' it does mention miscarriage once or twice but it is not the main story line and it is a really interesting book. also, really beachy, 'ive got yoru number' by sophia kinsella!

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    1. See my post before this. I had an endo lining test which showed an abnormality in the lining which could make implantation difficult. It's a pretty experimental test, but still not good news. :(

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  7. Wishing you the best for this cycle. We never have our serious conversations in serious places, it's usually just random and often inappropriate. You can't plan them, I guess.

    As for books, I love to read but tend to gravitate towards sad/depressing. Have you read "The Glass Castle?" That is one of my all-time favorites. Legit could not put it down. I just picked up the new Khaled Hosseini "And the Mountains Echoed" but I haven't read it yet. I did love "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns," also by him. Great writer.

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    1. I've read The Kite Runner and thought it was pretty good. Never heard of The Glass Castle before...I'll check it out!

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  8. I'm sorry you feel stuck in this place of little hope. It's an awful place to be. Hoping you and M will get on the same page sooner rather than later. I also think that these "mood swings" from optimism to thinking about stopping treatments are normal, they certainly happened to me a lot. Hang in there!

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  9. I recently read a book called Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations and I couldn't put it down. I love dirt and soil and composing, though, so not everyone might feel the same. As for knowing if you are on the right path all I can say is that you will always have doubts about your current path whether doing fertility treatments or stopping them. Hopefully you will have enough moments of clarity to guide you in the right direction.

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    1. That book sounds oddly like something I would be into. Someone else recommended "Salt" to me, which is a history of (duh) salt.

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    2. I LOVED that book. LOVED.

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  10. I am currently reading The Fault In Our Stars, and for a book about cancer, it's not bad. I'm only halfway through, though. The tears might come later.

    I think it's great you're talking about these things, even if you're not there yet. I don't know about you, but I always feel better having a back-up plan. Even if the back-up plan isn't what I thought it would be.

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    1. I've heard a lot of good stuff about that book, but not sure I can deal with the heaviness of cancer at the beach. I hate getting sand in my tears. ;)

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  11. As difficult as these discussions are, I am glad you guys are starting to talk about alternatives if IVF doesn't work out. Many people do not have an exit plan, instead concerning themselves to years and years of treatments and uncertainty. To at least be thinking about what you ultimately want and what the road to resolution looks like is not a sign that you're giving up- it's actually a sign that you're refusing to allow this experience to rule your life.

    All that said, I understand where you're coming from with this upcoming cycle. Honestly, if it doesn't feel right, talk with your RE. It's their job to be communicating with you why they are doing the procedures they are doing. Put that burden on them.

    Finally, my recommended read is Jenny Lawson's book "Let's pretend this never happened." Outside of the fact that she made me feel a little less self-conscious about being socially awkward, the title alone makes it worthwhile. Have fun at the beach!!!

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    1. Just checked out that book and it looks hilarious. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    2. I second this book- it is awesome!

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  12. These are tough feelings to be grappling with and even tougher conversations to have. I've just started my 4th egg retrieval and I'm not excited about it. I don't think it'll work. I think we're just throwing good money after bad in trying to collect my eggs. We'll go the DE route eventually; they say my uterus is good, but who really knows.

    I read Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver recently and I highly recommend it for beach reading. There's enough science in it to make it interesting, but there's easily an digestable plot that kept me up late reading.

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    1. Believe it or not I hadn't heard of Kingsolver but given all the agreement from other commenters, I'll have to check her out!

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  13. We also have had a number of very serious conversations at the dog park. And, conversely, the dog park is also where I go when I need to get out of my brain when it is giving me an especially hard time. AE has always been a few steps behind me as well. It sounds like you two are pretty much on the same page right now, though, which sounds like it's a good thing.

    And books! I love me some books. I loved Watership Down (it sounds weird, and it is, but it's sooo good). I also second anything by Kingsolver. Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake is fantastic. Cutting for Stone is great, too. Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is, well, amazing.

    Some I haven't read but are on the list for very soon are A Fine Balance, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, and Sometimes a Great Notion.

    Beach reading is the BEST reading. Enjoy!

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    1. PS, the security code to allow me to post that last message was "105 teenHoes." I thought you might enjoy.

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    2. I think that's probably the number of teen hoes that get pregnant every day that I'm still not.

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  14. C and I had a similar conversation in the car on the way to the airport a couple weeks ago. We talked about child-free living or donor eggs. I don't think C is ready to seriously consider adoption, and I'm certainly not going to pressure him. Of course, I really hope that the DHEA will be the magic fix for both of us!

    I don't have any original ideas for books, but will comment on a few of the above suggestions. The Glass Castle was amazing. It's a memoir, but easily as entertaining as fiction. A Thousand Splendid Suns was also great. I read it before The Kite Runner and liked it better. (It's told from a woman's perspective, which I liked.) A Fine Balance was wonderful, but depressing. I don't recommend it as a beach read. Based on Lentil's recommendation, I think I'll give Cutting for Stone another try. I read the first 20% or so and never got into it, but I keep hearing how great it is, so maybe I just need to stick it out...

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    1. Same here on Cutting for Stone, I just couldn't get into it. Perhaps I was too hasty...

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  15. YES to Cutting for Stone. One of my favorites of all time. And again with Lentil, anything by Kingsolver but especially The Poisonwood Bible.
    For non-fiction, I just read Unbroken and really enjoyed.

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  16. I agree with The Glass Castle! But do not agree with Barbara Kingsolver... bo-ring. And yeah, Fine Balance is good but not a beach read... more like a university reading list type of book. I would HIGHLY recommend The Dinner by Herman Koch -- it just came out and was getting all kinds of buzz earlier this year. You can read it FAST and you'll get sucked into it very quickly. Easy to read, but tackles some deep shit at the same time. I also just finished the latest David Sedaris book (Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls) and it was HILARIOUS. That is the perfect beach read, in my opinion.

    So is your mind kind of set on doing IVF #3, doing the whole Lupron thing and then figuring out where to go after that? I can understand your frustration with this uterine lining business on top of the DOR, but still feel like you've got a bit of fight left in you yet. Would you ever consider surrogacy if you ended up producing a few good blasts? It may be cheaper than adoption, although I know it can also be sort of tricky here in Canada...

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    1. Yeah, we'll do IVF #3 and if we have anything to freeze we'll do Lupron and then transfer. After that, who knows. If we get another round of shit eggs, we may be done. No point in throwing good money after bad. As for surrogacy, I doubt we'd ever get there, but if so I know my sister would do it. She's out of province, but we'd figure it out. I still really think that my eggs are at least 90% of the problem. The lining is just the icing on the poop cake.

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  17. Such hard feelings and conversations to have. Thinking of you and praying you find peace! And hoping #3 is the one!

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  18. Your thoughts here have mirrored my own thoughts I've had over the years. My husband and I have had many conversations like this one as well, when I could actually get him nailed down for a serious conversation that is. We were totally prepared for the child free life, but then decided we didn't want to live with the regrets of not trying everything possible for a family first. And now, we are finally pregnant, and have made it longer than before. It's still not a guarantee until the day we bring these babies home. We know that even if this doesn't work out, we will have given it everything we had. You can only do what you feel is best for you. You need to be able to look back in 10, 20 years and not have regrets. Don't find yourself saying "I wish we woulda....." If at some point that means child free, that's okay too.

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I'm needy and your comments validate me. Help a sister out!