Postponed

When I started reading about IVF about four years ago, I was terrified of the idea of having a round postponed. I couldn’t imagine getting all of my hopes up and going through all of the medications, only to be told to go back to the drawing board and try again.

Luckily none of my rounds have been postponed by my RE. Unfortunately, they’ve been postponed by me.

What do you do when life gets in the way of trying to make a life?

I’m working through my anger and disappointment with this round. We’ve been preparing for it since that post-IVF meeting in September. Everything was going okay until about two weeks ago when my parents decide they are going to fall apart. To be fair, it is actually just one parent.

My step-father has been given a new chance at life. He has stage three lung cancer and his prognosis was grim. He was given 6 months to a year to live with treatment. He has successfully completed intense chemotherapy and radiation and been told that he’s going to live a long time. His tumor shrank by 50% and the cancer activity in his body has decreased by 2/3rds. He’s not what we would consider cured, but he’s in a better place than he was when first diagnosed. Mentally, though, he’s beaten. Couple this with my mother’s Alzheimer’s and dementia and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

So two weeks ago things got pretty bad. Things have been bad before and stressful, like the weekend we were heading out west for a couple of weeks to put time and space between us and the year of hell, and the wheels totally came off the bus and it crashed and burned. We put everything back together again and though there were some hiccups, nothing as bad as that weekend has happened.   Now we are back here again and just in time for our transfer.

I know I need to separate myself from my stress. The question is: how? I wake up most mornings and instantly feel as though I have chest pains. Friday, I cracked in the bookkeeper’s office (something about that office that sends me into an anxiety filled free-fall of emotions) because she was scolding me about not getting a receipt to her sooner. My eyes well up and my voice cracks. I manage to get out of there with some dignity, face flushed and chest all splotchy. None of this had anything to do with her treatment of me, but everything to do with the immense amount of stress I am under right now.

How do you separate yourself from your family long enough to start your own?

There is never a good or a right time to make a baby. That’s not what I’m trying to do exactly, but it would be lovely if the universe would just work with me and find a way to stay calm enough for me to get through fertility treatment and pregnant.  Is that too much to ask?

Unproven Uterus

It has been a while since I last posted and most of that has to do with all the other things I juggle in my life besides infertility. I transferred to a new school last year to try and lighten my load, mostly so I could quit coaching soccer and have job security, and what have I done? I’ve gone and gotten myself involved in all kinds of other things. Between grad school, working full-time, sponsoring clubs and taking over the mentoring program, and trying to navigate the management of my aging parents who sometimes don’t want my help, my life has gotten totally out of control busy and stress filled. All of that to say that I have abandoned my writing and I know I shouldn’t because this is a space where I work through my thoughts and concerns on our attempts at becoming parents. I’ve been meaning to get this post written for quite some time, so here it goes-

What I wouldn’t do for a proven uterus. Before heading down this path, I had no idea that the medical world placed women into categories like proven or unproven uterus.  At the post IVF consult back in September, we explored options of what to do next. As you all know, my RE gave us the surprising news that she thought we should go forward with the last embryo and do a FET, then look to do one or two more IVF rounds before seeing what might behind curtain number 3. At what is behind curtain number 3, you ask? Finding a gestational carrier.

We’d broached this topic once before at our post IVF consult the round before last (oh, how tired am I of post IVF consults and how ready I am from the sending away party so I can see a regular OB because I’m pregnant with a healthy and happy peanut). My mind raced with possibilities for a carrier. I don’t have sisters who are anywhere close to my age and my sister-in-laws are all older as well. Friends are another option, but that is a big question to ask of a friend. How does one even begin that conversation? Hi, I know I’ve known you since we were in 5th grade together and we’ve shared so many things together-like crushes and clothes-so would you mind sharing your uterus with my baby for me? I actually did test the waters with a close friend of mine this past summer. It wasn’t so much that I was asking her, but retelling what the RE had said about our options of possibly finding a carrier on our own since it can be less expensive. She got instantly weird on me and I ended up saying several times that I wasn’t asking her to be the one.  Yikes.

Since then, though, we’ve had interesting conversations with one couple who have been close and dear friends of ours for a very long time. They approached us about it and at the time, and even still today, we aren’t there yet, but it certainly can be a game changer if that’s the direction we end up going. When I shared this with our RE in September, she was delighted for us. When I expressed concern over age, as all of our friends are heading over that 35 year line when things on the outcomes pamphlet look scarier than if you are under 34, she dismissed my concerns by saying it didn’t really matter as long as the carrier had a “proven uterus.” I laughed at this idea of a “proven uterus” because it seems an absurd thing to exist, but then envy got to me and  I said, “I want one of those,” with an earnest look on my face (like it is something you can find on an aisle of Whole Foods or Costco).

I’m still hopeful that I’ll get to have that title of proven uterus. I’ll wear it like a champ. We are scheduled to start our FET with this month’s cycle, but with all of what’s been taking place with my parents and my stress levels, I am contemplating moving it to January. Another topic for another post: the anger of managing “ideal” conditions for IVF, as if there is such a thing.