Have you ever hurt so badly that you feel like you are walking around with “broken” written on your forehead? That not matter how hard you try to cover up your pain with a new hair style, make-up or cute clothes, everyone still notices. You get that look, more than once a day; from strangers who see the pain oozing out of whatever you’ve used to cover “it” up? I have felt this way lately, although it’s a rare day anymore that I have the energy to “cover it up.”
We met with our doctor on Tuesday for our “What’s next meeting”. Dr. F explained to us, again, that what went wrong during our first round of IVF was that my eggs compromised our embryos. Over a decade of endometriosis has taken a much larger toll on my body than any of us had realized. To go from 14 embryos to 2, in a matter of hours, is uncommon and disappointing, even to the lab. We used our meeting to ask as many questions as we could about what our future options are. There were a handful of times during the meeting I choked back tears as I tried to ask questions that I’d never thought I’d have to ask. I did NOT want to cry in that meeting and it took everything in me not to.
The plus side, we do have options, very, very expensive options. The one option we do NOT have is to try IVF again right away. 1. We have no embryos saved up, and 2. If not treated, my disease will again just kill off our embryos. One of the options we do have is to treat my endometriosis. I have been through this process twice before in my life, to decrease some of my heavy bleeding and pain. The treatment is taking monthly injections called Depot Lupron which should kill of the endometriosis (temporarlitly-endometriosis will always come back). I’ve done this exact treatment before and was still unable to get pregnant. I also have lasting side effects from these treatments including early osteoporosis and an increased heart rate. My doctor seems to think a low dose of this treatment, for 3 months could do the trick (and wouldn't cause any addition side effects). HOWEVER, there is just a 50% success rate in that my eggs would be made viable again.
Our second option is to use an egg donor. This would mean Lucas and I go through a catalog and pick someone, with similar characteristics as myself, to be our donor. We would still use Lucas’ sperm to create our embryos. This would replace my eggs with non-diseased eggs and increase our likelihood of pregnancy significantly. The down side-it’s no longer my genetics involved.
Either option using IVF would cost over $13,000 (egg donation more). It would take us time to be able to save up that money to do either procedure again. Ambree could still be our carrier but want to work on her own family, so if we can’t raise the money in time, we’ll be out of options for IVF.
Confused yet!?! We have been too. We have some major decisions to consider at this point. If we were ever able to come up with the money, we would have one shot to make it work. There is this lingering, nagging feeling that I want my eggs to be the ones to use, but a 50% chance of them being viable is not ideal. Using an egg donor would increase our chances drastically of our embryos surviving, but the eggs won’t be mine.
We will do everything we can to make the best decision for us at this point, nothing is off the table. Adoption is an option, but we’ve felt VERY strongly that we should try the IVF route first.
Money. I hate thinking money is making me depressed, for any reason, but it is. It’s a lot of money we have to come up with and it’s hard not to feel hopeless and lost. We have looked into many loan options in the past and for one reasons or another don't qualify. We are seeking out options for grants right now, but it's time consuming and exhaustive--we're still working on them.
As for myself, I am trying to get re-focused on my life before IVF took it over, school, teaching, full-filling commitments, improving my marriage…all important things to me. Our baby will always be on my mind though. Trying to function daily has felt much like dealing with grief, losing our two embryos, realizing I may never be able to create a baby, the heartache of our first cycle ending far earlier than we had hoped, the financial strains…the grief is real and crippling at times.
I’m exhausted. I feel utterly broken. I feel like giving up from time to time. I feel like I’m going to cry, or rip someone’s head off ever 20 second. I want to pause life and take a break. I feel absolutely tattered. I can’t pretend today that I’m okay, or that I feel hopeful, I simply don’t feel it. I feel weak, tired and broken beyond repair. Much like this rose above, I feel severed and small. Thank you again for your love and support through this all.
P.S. Sorry this post didn’t end on an optimistic note today, it just wasn’t in me this time.