Friday, May 2, 2008

I don't look back, darling. It distracts from the now.

Ha ha ha - that is me not at all. You may recognize that quote from Edna in The Incredibles. They are words of wisdom that I just don't seem to be able to practice.

And so . . .

One year ago today, I had my first ultrasound for our last chance cycle with my eggs. Things were a bit different that time around because I didn't get suppressed - I was just one month out from our last failed (negative beta) IVF cycle and we were starting on my natural day 3. I had 14 antral follicles - more than I had ever had. I knew that it could be because of left over drugs in my system from the previous cycle and these eggs could end up not being the healthiest, but it was still so hopeful!

We had planned on transferring all our living embryos back on day 3 like we did in the previous cycle. My RE was sure we wouldn't have more than about 6 and since 6 hadn't even produced a pregnancy, he wasn't concerned about having higher order multiples.

We eventually retrieved 20 eggs, 17 were mature and 14 fertilized. On day 3 most (12?) looked really good with 7-9 cells (most were 8) and low fragmentation. The embryologist called to suggest we grow them out to blast because we couldn't transfer all 12 on day 3 and he couldn't make a call about which ones would grow the best. I remember him saying that "it is like I am working with an entirely different person." We were over the moon. We might get an heir and a spare out of this - or at least some on ice for the first time.

On day 5 things had already started to go downhill. None had made it to blast, but a few were promising. I remember how my heart sank the next when my RE walked into the prep room (for the transfer) with a picture of a single embryo. We had 5 more still living, but they didn't look good. He was very hopeful though because we had one "beauty queen" - the best of all our 37 embryos over 4 cycles and it was hatching.

I was still discouraged and cried every day for the next seven days until the beta at 13 dpo. I was tired of taking PIO shots for failed cycles and asked if I could come in a day early for the beta. My RE agreed and it was a whopping 2.8 - positive by some standards, negative by others. They offered to let me come in again, but since I had positive betas of 26 and 37 (they like to see at least 50 although 100 is better) that ended in early miscarriages, I declined. Lovely AF showed a couple of days later and all our chances were behind us.

I don't know why I am sharing this other than that the past has been on my mind a lot lately. I don't even think it is doing me any good. I may be trying to make sense of it - to fully come to grips with what we have gone through and perhaps let it go or have it not hurt so much. It hasn't worked so far that I can tell and I really should try a different tactic. I keep telling myself that I want to be more like Brad - he is so good about letting go of the things he can't change and being happy with whatever there is to be happy about.

Wait. What's this? I think it is . . . yes! A smile has come to my face! Can I just say that I am a thousand times blessed to have Brad in my life? He lifts me up. We have fun together. He kept me going almost single handedly over the last 6 years (not true - there was Stacey and Kari and Kathy Jo among others, but he was there every single day). He loved me even when I was too sad to show that I loved him back. He makes me smile. We are a team.

No, I'm not bipolar, just a little more emotional than usual. And as long as we are on the emotional roller coaster let me sprinkle in a little anger / frustration.

There have been some friends IRL who have suggested or flat out told Brad that he needs to get me a gift for after the baby comes. Some people even call it a "pushing gift". It really irritates me because Brad has put as much into this over the last six years as I have. Sure, our roles have been different. I did more research and got all the shots and I get to be pregnant. He remained hopeful and steadfast when I faltered. He has picked me up and held me when I cried more times than I can count. Did I mention we are a team? I can't believe that anyone would imply that I deserve a gift and not Brad. I realize it may be pertinent when the guy's primary role was to have an orgasm during sex, but you can't fight infertility for long without both members of a couple baring the battle scars.

Damn, it just occurred to me that he probably will get me something. He is such a hopeless romantic (reason # 342 why I love him so much). Anyone have some ideas for a "You survived six years of hell for this" gift for Brad?


Michell said...

He sounds like a keeper. I'm sorry about the emotional stuff but thanks for sharing this. It's interesting to me to see what led up to the now in other peoples journeys. As far as a gift for him? Other than a baby, I'm not sure. I'm horrible at buying gifts for others.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should buy me... Uhhh... I mean HIM a new... Oh heck, we have more than we deserve!



Leah said...

He sounds wonderful. Won't it be blissful when we can eventually put the vast majority of the IF bullshit behind us and truly enjoy our spouses again? I know I'll never be 100% the same again, but I'll be more emotionally whole than I am now, that's for sure.

I'm not sure what to tell you to give Brad. When Megan was born, I gave Kevin a book about Father's wisdom that could be passed down to a daughter. It was a very small gesture, but he appreciated it.

I have no idea what I'll give him this time. I've asked him not to get me anything -- I feel exactly as you do. He's given me a great gift by supporting me, loving me and putting up with my crazy crap for the last 3 years of IF. I couldn't possibly ask for a more meaningful and heartfelt gift.

Bee Cee said...

It's great that you have a fabulous man, we need them to get through all this crap and people so forget about what they go through too. They are the silent sufferers sometimes.

Been wracking my brain for gift ideas, what about a Daddy t-shirt, there's loads of cool ones on the internet. Also(and not sure if this is appropriate for Brad) but something like these two sprang to mind:

Anonymous said...

He survived 6 years of hell, and you are going to give him a baby. That is the biggest, and best gift in my mind that I could receive if I were on the receiving end of this exchange.

Also, our past defines or future...and every now and again you have to look back...dust it off...otherwise we are destined to never completely move forward...

Kami said...

B - We do have all we need, but we deserve more! ;)

Leah and Bee Cee - thanks for the gift ideas. I like the cuff links, but they would never get used . . .well, once every 5 years or so.

Familyof2 - I so agree. What could compare? It makes me think a card would be best - just simple. I like your thoughts about needing to revisit the past.

passingwindows said...

You're right. Maybe in the usual scheme of things the guy should get his wife a birth gift but in infertility I think you make it through, or not, as a couple. Your post rang so true with me, H has picked me up so many times and believes so often when I have no more strength left.

Ann said...

Yes, I tend to think a lot about the past, too, especially "Where was I one year ago today?" We can't help it; it's part of who we are.

Foreverhopeful said...

Its so great that you are smiling and enjoying Brad and your marriage and healing from your six years of hell. I think its natural to reflect back and come to terms with what you've been through. Its so comforting and encouraging to see that it can all work out even after all you've been through. I think you are both lucky to have each other and you both deserve a nice gift after all you've endured. I'm not great with Gift ideas but I hope you figure out something special for him.. :)

B said...

Hello Kami

I was just reading back through my blog and saw all the comments you had written. I wnted to say thank you for all the love and wisdom you have shared.

I am cheering for this pregnancy and sad with you as you look back on the years of pain. On all the markers.

I find gifts hard to buy. I never seem to quite nail it. Bu I think maybe you should book yourselves a weekend away before the baby is due.

love barb

onwardandsideways said...

When we picked out our wedding rings, my husband promised me a 3rd when I would give him a child. I'm still waiting for that ring, but maybe soon.

I think it's a beautiful gesture from a husband to his wife, and it doesn't prevent you from returning the gesture.

You might make it something that could be passed down, as a memory to celebrate all that you went through, and how far you have come.

Flo said...

Lovely post!

I quite like the idea of 'baby gold' like it is called here, although I do remember one of my friends calling it 'pushing gold' too (not too keen on that 'name')... Also, I am completely with you on returning!

As for ideas, does your husband wear watches? I think I might give one to Jonny once our little one is born. For all his love and support throughout our journey.