Friday, July 25, 2008


While completely innocently perusing Google scholar (I was looking for cesarean information), I came across this abstract. It is a small study and probably not even statistically significant, but it implies that a woman who has a cold within 10 days of embryo transfer is less likely to get pregnant. In the study, the 27 women out of 198 who had a cold all failed to get pregnant. It got me thinking that I only had 2 useful IVF cycles. The third cycle - where we tried 1/2 DS, I had a nasty cold. I remember because I was afraid I would cough out the little buggers (nonsense, my RE assured me). I am convinced doing the fourth cycle right after the third fried my eggs because I had about twice the number of oocytes but they didn't grow as well as previous cycle after day 3. Both of those first two cycles ended in miscarriage, but at least I got pregnant. Maybe if we just tried a few more times, we could have used my eggs.

I know . . . I thought it wouldn't bug me after LB's birth too. At least I didn't think it would bring me to tears. I wouldn't trade LB in for a different version. I think I just want to prove to myself that I can do it - that I am not defective. It kills me that the opportunity is over. If I wasn't successful at 38 years old, what is the likelihood that I would be successful at 41? Somehow I want to redeem myself. I want to prove it wasn't my fault. Which is kind of funny because when we were dealing with just male factor, I never felt it was Brad's fault nor his issue. It was our issue. Until it was my issue and I was defective. Suddenly, I want to blame Brad and his issue (or my RE) because it protects my sense of self worth.

Before I conceived LB, I had asked women who had DE babies when they fully accepted it and moved on. A few said, "I still haven't and I am going to try again with my eggs for a sibling." I thought that it wouldn't bother me. I would have the maturity and wisdom to let it go. Yeah, right.

Pre-LB (ha! a new way to count time) I thought having a natural, home birth would help toward redeeming myself. I thought I would come through that feeling more powerful - that I do work. That didn't happen either. Although I don't think about the cesarean birth that much, when I do I am either sad or angry or both. Maybe we will get lucky and have a second child and I will be successful with a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Maybe we will even try again with my eggs, although I doubt that. Maybe, just maybe, at some point these two failures will stop haunting me. Not that it is a constant shadow, but the thoughts do creep in - especially in the evenings or when I am tired. Sometimes they hit me pretty hard.

I want to say, because I don't think it comes through in print, that these negative thoughts don't quite have the weight they did pre-LB.

On a somewhat related topic, I overheard Brad talking to Little Butterfly the other day. He was trying to quiet her and said in a sing song voice, "I'm sorry sweetness, there can be only one drama queen per household and that position has already been filled."

Um, do you think he means me?


Lori Lavender Luz said...

Brad is funny. You two are so good together.

They say in Adoption World that adoption doesn't cure infertility.

I say that having a baby just takes away most of your time to think about it!

The healing, for me, continued in a spiral. I rarely cry about it anymore, but it did happen unexpectedly, recently.

So I'm not surprised that the tears have come again, or that they have less weight than before LB.

I suspect they will keep lessening.

And thanks for your kind comments today, Kami.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's a strange article, though it did mention treatment with an antiviral as well (who gets an antiviral with a cold?). Could it be that the antiviral caused the problem?

You know, after we decided to have another one, DH was ready to abandon birth control. I told him that I would prefer to continue it. Why? Because having done DE once, and feeling very lucky to have dodged the bullets that can come from the genetic issues of "old eggs," I wasn't ready to take the risk of playing Russian roulette using my own eggs.

The further I have gotten away from DD's birth, and the more that she has grown and blossomed into the wonderful human being that she was meant to be, the less and less I think about it. Truthfully, the only time I think about it is when someone asks about DH's and my medical history.

Everyone has a medical issue of one kind or another, and we get more and more of them as we age. That doesn't make us defective, it makes us human. I do remember feeling absolutely worthless after DD was born (almost failing at breast feeding on top of everything was what did it for me). And then, her wonderful doctor assured me that failed ovaries and failed breasts don't make a mom, that there is just so much more to parenting than how it all begins. And, I've come to learn that she is a very wise woman indeed.


luna said...

interesting article. I got a nasty cold the day before transfer, and wondered if it was because of that drug they give you to lower immunity. I think it's natural to wonder if things could have been different.

LB could be a little princess though, even if you're the queen.

Pamela T. said...

Love Brad! There were be three drama queens if I made it up for a visit...

It's easy to torture ourselves about why certain cycles didn't "take." Sigh. I've stopped trying to second guess every step of the way as I found it just got me too wrapped around the axle and I was no closer to the real answer.

As for the desire to prove that you *can* succeed in conceiving and delivering, I hear you sister...

MrsSpock said...

I don't feel any disappointment over the c/s, but I am still feeling waves of guilt over the failed BF. I think every day about where it went wrong and what, if anything, I can do to get a better chance (if I am granted another chance), in the future. Even though J is doing fantastic on formula, and has no GI issues, I still feel guilty when he cries while I warm a bottle.

Me said...

My husband refers to me as "The Princess". :/

niobe said...

I may be totally off base here, so just ignore this if it doesn't resonate with you.

Anyway, I've read a lot of blogs by people who've recently had babies. And IF or not, IVF or not, DE or not, CS or not, new moms tend to be, maybe not exactly depressed, but a little blue, a little wistful, a little angry. I think almost everyone has some aspect of the pregnancy or birth that they really regret and wish they could do over, that didn't go the way they wanted it to and it becomes the shadow that you describe -- not always there, but sometimes making life very hard.

I'm not suggesting that your feelings are invalid or wrong or that they'll necessarily completely go away. Just that, though the source may be different, feelings like yours seem almost universal. Though you don't tend to hear about them as much IRL as on blogs.

Anyway, like I said: if this isn't helpful, just pretend you never read it.

Tracy said...

I wonder about this subject...I know I will love my little ones unconditionally and will never wish things were different, but...

There is still part of me that secretly hopes for another pregnancy, with my own egg(s).

We're not spending another dime on IF, though, so if it happens it will be chance, or luck, or whatever you want to call it. Everybody I know tells me I'll get pregnant again (you know the theory, you spend tons of dough and time on IF treatments, get pregnant, have your baby and then BAM you have no trouble getting knocked up the next time.)

At the end of the day, I always have said I want to be a parent, and it doesn't matter where the baby comes from, but I still do feel those tugs. I'm sure it's normal.

Kate said...

Your husband is a funny man. I worry too about never getting rid of the pain, if DE works for me. Will I always hate pregnant women? Will I ever get used to the fact my kids won't be made from part of me? Maybe time will make it less and less. We can only hope.

battynurse said...

I agree, Brad is funny. The premise of the study sounds interesting. Makes me think of my IVF. Also though there will always be things to make you wonder what if. I do think it will get better somewhat with time but never really go away.

stacyb said...

when i think about trying again it would only be with the frozen DE embryos we have. after 21 weeks with our little one i am certain that the role my eggs play mean nothing in terms of the love i feel. i don't think it would be possible to love our daughter more than i do and, like midlife mommy, i know my 34 year old eggs sucked then so my 39 year old eggs must really suck now. would not want to go on that roller coaster again.

also i don't think you've failed at all in trying with your eggs, or ending up with a c-section. these are just things that happened not good, not bad. on the contrary you are someone who is strong and unwilling to give up hope for a your dream of a family.

i think self worth is determined by you conduct yourself, especially in times of distress and not in things you cannot control like infertility.

in my book you've done a fabulous job of getting through all that you've been though kami.